Over the years, the Spanish embassy in Nigeria has organized an annual visual arts competition. An event that has consistently empowered artists all around the country, giving them international platforms and audience to exhibit their creative spirit. This year’s theme surrounds the life of Salvador Dali, a surrealist artist who experimented with a variety of art including but not exclusive to oils, water colours, drawings, graphics, sculptures, films photographs, performance pieces, jewels and objects of all descriptions.
The Spanish embassy has sought with this year’s competition to promote the dreams of Dali by allowing artists all around Nigeria explore all aspects of their lives and give them artistic expression.
Unlike any other embassy in Nigeria, the embassy of Spain has maintained a consistent relationship with Nigeria’s art society for over 9 years. It does this by reaching out to the core of the countries citizens searching for creative people willing to express their creativity through art and finding what the embassies Cultural Director, Eva Barta calls mutual feeling.
‘Art is an expression of feeling, and what we do is to make sure we connect with Nigeria in terms of how they feel.’ says Eva Barta. Eva is the cultural director of the Spanish Embassy to Nigeria, a position which not only merges completely with her lively personality but also ensures that she is at the heart of the embassies relationship with the country.
Eva Barta has travelled to different parts of Nigeria meeting artists and holding discussions with the art community of Nigeria through these competitions. Over a dozen Nigerians have benefited from this annual competition which mostly includes cash prizes for some and fully funded trips to different countries of the world where the winners exhibit their works.
Eva Barta who has been handling these exhibitions believes strongly that both countries rich cultural heritage can be a source of mutual understanding and has been working to promote Spanish and Nigerian relationships with these exhibitions for almost a decade.
The exhibition which held at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja, was organized by the Embassy of Spain in collaboration with the National Gallery of Art saw the submission of over 80 pieces of art from all over the country. This year’s winner, Samuel Illori will be granted exhibition audience via a fully funded return trip to exhibit in Spain.
The Spanish embassy has once again displayed an extra-ordinary commitment to keep its bonds with Nigeria solid by strengthening the rich cultural heritage enjoyed by both countries from within its core, places where science and business have not dared to enter.