The Ghana Association of Visual Artists (GAVA) is calling on government to as a matter of urgency expedite measures to make the Creative Industry Act functional.
According to the Association, the Act which establishes a Creative Arts Agency to provide the institutional framework for the development and management of the creative arts industry and other related matters, would if efficient spearhead activities of the industry.
The General Secretary of GAVA, Mr Lawrence Kwaku Agyeman, said government needed to focus in making the industry efficient in order to make industry players work in accordance with provisions of the Act.
Mr Agyeman was speaking in an interview with the Ghanaian Timeson challenges being faced by the Visual Arts Industry in Accra on Thursday, November 25.
He noted that ensuring this would drive artists in the industry to work in alignment with the requisite requirements of the industry.
“Because this act has not been functional, some players in the industry do things anyhow. They don’t have their businesses registered, have no code of ethics guiding them in their professional practice,” he stated
“So this act is supposed to help regulate the industry better because when you look at other industries there are regulatory frameworks that help them to function,” he added.
The General Secretary of the Association said there was the need for stakeholder engagements to be held for inputs to be made to help make the industry a vibrant one.
Mr Agyeman said access to funding, was another challenge the industry faced in the country.
But he said players in the industry who were not recognised as such due to them not being properly registered among other reasons faced difficulties in accessing funds.
Likewise, the National Organizer of the Association, Aubrey-Seth Attoh said the industry was the least resourced, particularly in infrastructure.
He said the industry had no gallery to show for itself, where all works of past and present players of the industry were showcased.
“We are the least resourced in terms of infrastructure, and we don’t have a national gallery where artists can showcase their works. We cannot locate works of artists like Kofi Antubam who designed the state seat and the parliamentary mace,” he stressed.
“When you give us infrastructure we can then move on because we need a place where we artists will feel comfortable and have exhibition for people to come and have a look and that’s where I can sell my works and the government too can make money,” he added.
Mr Attoh indicated that having an art gallery would enhance the growth and development of the industry and the country at large, essentially through tourism.
He said the Art Center would soon be closed down due to the Marine Drive Project, a Public-Private Partnership project expected to transform the beachfront stretch from the Osu Christiansburg Castle to the Arts Centre into a vibrant business and commercial enclave that would transform the city’s skyline, create jobs, spur tourism growth and boost the national economy.
Mr Attoh therefore similarly reiterated the need for high-level engagements with artists on their relocation.
“The ministry and the agency should have some engagement with us so we put before them our concerns about our relocation to help better our works as artists,” he said.
“We need that kind of assurance, that kind of engagement with the players to help facilitate our works,” he added.
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR