GEPA holds Sound Out Premium Art Exhibition

BY: Elizabeth Nyaadu Adu
Some artworks displayed at the exhibition
Some artworks displayed at the exhibition

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has launched its premium art exhibition for the year as part of measures to boost the production capacity of Ghana’s export sector.It is also meant to build a business environment that supports exports.

Dubbed: “Sound Out Premium Art Exhibition 2021”, the exhibition which has been scheduled from August 21 to 27, aims at showcasing the different works of 32 artists to increase patronage.

The exhibition is being organised by GEPA, in partnership with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Ghana Tourism Authority and the Ghana Exim Bank.

Speaking at the official opening of the art exhibition in Accra last Saturday, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GEPA, Dr Afua Asabea Asare, said “as an authority under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the interventions we support are mainly to boost the quality and production capacity of export sectors to enable us meet demands that result from us making noise about “Export Ghana Export More”.

She said “The Sound Out” Premium Art Exhibition aligns with building a capacity for industrial export development and marketing.

The CEO of the GEPA explained that the intention of the exhibition was to build a platform where artists on the continent will be clamouring to showcase their pieces at an annual festival.

“It hasn’t been a bed of roses getting this far – especially when people consider art as a luxury item instead of an intrinsic part of us, our way of life.The best of our export items that have made it to shelves of big brands, have been the ones that are not just well packaged, but aesthetically good looking – thanks to the creative side of us.”

“We are confident that over time, Sound Out will transform into the one premium art festival in Ghana all art enthusiasts can all look forward to year after year,” Dr Asare said.

Read: GEPA urges public to support handicraft sector

Low patronage

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Herbert Krapa, said a study of 10 galleries in Accra done by the International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences showed that African Americans and other tourists consumed 64 per cent of our artifacts while indigenous Ghanaians patronised 36 per cent.

According to him, there is low patronage for the consumption of Ghanaian art by Ghanaians and that the evidence shows that the volume of consumption of Ghana’s art by tourists, far outstrips Ghanaian patronage.

That, he said, could be better by closing up the consumption gap which will involve the re-orientation of the mindset of the Ghanaian, through platforms such as the Sound Out Premium Art Exhibition.

Read: Economy on path to industrialisation - Alan Kyerematen


Increasing revenue

The Sound Out Premium Art Exhibition, he said, would not only improve Ghanaian patronage, but also the surest way of increasing awareness and sharing market information to increase revenue to boost the economy.

“Total earnings from the industrial art and craft subsector in 2019 was $14.5 million from $12.8 million in 2018.

“We can and should do more than that to help contribute significantly to the astronomic levels of patronage we all yearn for,” he said.