There is a popular saying that “the journey of two thousand miles starts with just a step.” However, the slowness or fastness of the journey depends on the pace at which a person is moving. This is exactly the case with the Kaduna state Society of Nigerian Artists’ (SNA) Interim body set to revive SNA in Kaduna. The SNA interim body was formed late last year (2010) with Dr. G.G. Duniya (from the Department of Fine Arts, ABU Zaria) as the chairman; Mr. John Boyi (lecturer with Kaduna State College of Education, Gidan-Waya), secretary; and Mr. Kelvin Dandien (also from the Department of Fine Arts, ABU, Zaria), as the treasurer. Professor Tonie Okpe (from ABU Zaria), who is currently the SNA national Vice Chairman (Middle belt), remained an ardent supporter to the interim committee to see that the task of reinforcing as well as re-establishing SNA in Kaduna state is well accomplished.
Within the short period of the SNA interim body in Kaduna, it has held series of meetings to discuss various issues that will foster the development of art and artists in Kaduna state. The recent meeting held in National Gallery of Art (NGA), Kaduna office on the 24th of February, 2011, discussed on the need to organize a central exhibition that will create awareness on art in the state. In view of that, an exhibition sub-committee was formed to see to the running of activities in line with the exhibition set to hold 21st March, 2011, with the theme: “New Arrival”. The SNA exhibition sub-committee in Kaduna was formed proportionately to ensure a fair representation of artists at specific areas within the state in order to facilitate easy coordination as well as participation of artists in the exhibition. Members of the sub-committee are: Ms Suzan Dingba (a staff of NGA in Kaduna); Mr. Rasaq Yusuf (lecturer with Federal College of Education, FCE, Zaria); Mr. John Boyi (Lecturer, College of Education, Gidan-Waya); and Mrs. Brdget Bagai (a staff of National Council of Arts and Culture, NCAC, Kaduna). While Mr. Rasaq Yusuf is going to cover Zaria, Mr. John Boyi will be covering Kafanchan zone to facilitate activities toward the forth coming exhibition. On the other hand, Ms. Suzan Dingba and Mrs. Bridget Bagai will cover artists in Kaduna metropolis.
Two things stand to make the exhibition a success. The first is the commitment of the interim body and the tireless efforts of member of the exhibition committee. The second is the response of artists to this noble as well as clarion call to revive the SNA in Kaduna state. The first has to do with the technical planning, sponsorship, as well as carrying the artists along to see that the trust and confidence of artists within the state is regained. This will not only ensure the success of the exhibition but will also nourish a conducive atmosphere for the SNA to thrive. The second is however a product of the first since artists will definitely respond favorably the activities of SNA if they are properly carried along by the officials.
At the moment, it seems most likely that the exhibition will set a clear ground for full fledge SNA activities in Kaduna state. March 21 will offer the public opportunity to know art signatures still existing in Kaduna after it went in limbo.