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HOD’s Statement

Coming soon

Brief History

The Department of Fine and Applied Arts was founded in 1961 by Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the Owelle of Onitsha and Nigeria’s first president. It was initially called the Enwonwu College of Art, and nearly all the art Teachers were British and American. The expatriate art Teachers instituted the Western academic approach of naturalism, which promoted pictorial observational realism. This brand of Western academic pedagogy was effectively terminated when the expatriates left because of the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970). After the civil war, a new culture of exploration and experimentation of local ideas and visions in art teaching and learning dominated art activities of the Department. The content of the art programme, therefore, makes room for the incorporation of indigenous ideas, motifs, designs and styles into art learning and production. With this goal in mind, the Department developed and popularized Igbo patterns for body and wall painting known as uli. Uli art paved the way for the emergence of a completely new visual vocabulary in the Department. Over the years, the art programme moved away from Western style naturalism to more abstract expressions and other stylistic changes that responded appropriately to the art experience in Nigeria. This created both contemporary and modern art, while accommodating new ideas in the various sections of the Department, namely Sculpture, Painting, Ceramics, Textile, Fashion and Visual Communication Designs, as well as Art History and Art Education. New Genres, Printmaking and Photography have been recently introduces as areas of specialization in the Department in line with global trends.


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