My Day As Judge At TTU’s SculptPaint Exhibition

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By Vanessa O. Vanderpuye

During the Accra Visual Arts Week (AVIEW), a student art review competition was hosted as a collaborative effort between the Konyo Museum of African Art and the Ama Ata Aidoo Centre for creative art.

The contest required attending art exhibitions within the Accra Visual Arts Week, selecting an artwork, and crafting an art review based on it. My review was judged the winner. The reward for this endeavor included a 500 Ghana cedis check and an all-expenses-paid overnight stay in Takoradi, where the winner would join as a judge for the SculpPaint exhibition at Takoradi Technical University (TTU).

My submitted art review not only clinched the victory but also led to an exciting journey.

On August 2, I embarked on my trip from Accra to Takoradi, arriving at 3 pm. Once in Takoradi, I was warmly welcomed by Mr. Sofo Elijah, a lecturer at Takoradi Technical University, who served as my host for the duration of my stay. Takoradi Technical University’s faculty of the Applied Arts and Technology department extended a gracious welcome as well.

After a satisfying lunch, I was guided to the venue where the SculpPaint exhibition would unfold. The annual event challenged students to create art pieces using readily available materials based on their personal inspirations. This exhibition aimed to foster the students’ artistic techniques and creativity, with faculty members from the department serving as judges.

Subsequently, I was escorted to the Naakoff Chinese Hotel, my accommodation during the trip. Settling into my comfortable single room, I refreshed after the long journey and enjoyed a good rest.

The next day began with a delicious breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant, where the attentive staff provided exceptional service.

A ride was then arranged to transport me to the TTU campus, where the Art exhibition and competition were scheduled. As a member of the jury, along with two other faculty members from the Applied Arts and Technology department, I assessed the students’ artworks based on criteria such as the title, composition, style or technique, and articulation.

Witnessing the ingenious artworks by the students left a lasting impression on me. Their pieces explored a wide spectrum of themes, ranging from societal issues and African culture to emotions conveyed through paintings and sculptures created from diverse materials like tin cans, sand, rattan canes, and broken glass.

The students’ presentations were followed by an exhibition of their diverse artworks, which continued well into the evening. After the event, I returned to my hotel, enjoyed a pleasant dinner, and retired for the night.

On the following day, I embarked on a campus tour with a student guide, gaining valuable insights into the university’s atmosphere. Once the tour concluded, I packed my belongings, and a car transported me back to the station, marking the end of my enriching journey.

Throughout this experience, I gained a profound understanding of art beyond its surface, recognizing that the materials used and the techniques applied hold meaningful narratives. Interacting with established figures in the art industry highlighted the potential of our country’s emerging young artists. Undoubtedly, this trip was a rewarding and enlightening adventure that expanded my appreciation for the world of art.

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