C&F Porter Novelli, Nigeria’s leading business advisor in strategic communications, has invested in the development of Nigerian visual arts with its recent partnership with Nimbus Art Gallery to organise the first solo exhibition of the works of Nigeria’s renowned artist and sculptor, Emmah Mbanefo.

The exhibition, Ambivalence, which held at the Ikoyi-based Nimbus Art Gallery, featured over 60 paintings, etchings, sculptures, and installations. It was declared open on April 20, 2012, by a leading patron of the arts, the Obi of Onitsha, His Majesty Nnaemeka Achebe, and ended amid much fanfare on May 6, 2012.

C&F Porter Novelli provided its services to Nimbus Art Gallery and Mbanefo on a pro bono basis.  This involved providing strategic advice and counsel to Nimbus Art Gallery and Mbanefo, developing a communications plan for the exhibition, and managing implementation of the plan.

“Nigeria is blessed with rich culture and traditions but some of us seem to be oblivious of this fact; and fail to realise that our arts and culture are ready materials for projecting the image of our country,” said Nn’emeka Maduegbuna, Chairman/CEO of C&F Porter Novelli. “Our partnership with Nimbus Art Gallery on this project forms part of our effort to draw attention to the need to give our rich cultural heritage the primacy that it deserves.”

“Mbanefo’s works take pride of place in public spaces and in private collections within and outside Nigeria; however, he has largely remained unknown outside of the Nigerian arts community due to his recluse nature.What we have done is to bring him ‘out of the closet’ as it were and put him on a pedestal.”

Commending C&F Porter Novelli for its role in the arts exhibition, the artist, Emmah Mbanefo, said: “I would never have been able to achieve the results I did even from the first day of the exhibition but for C&F Porter Novelli. I hope this serves as an eye opener for other corporate organisations in the country. The art industry in Nigeria has suffered serious neglect for many years and this has negatively affected the fortunes of our talented artists.”

While declaring the exhibition open, the Obi of Onitsha, His Majesty Nnaemeka Achebe, also commended C&F Porter Novelli for this gesture and urged governments at all levels and corporate Nigeria to make more committed inputs to the development of Nigerian arts and culture. “There is an urgent need for the review of our National Policy on Arts and Culture and its implementation with a view to achieving greater relevance and sustainability such that our art and culture will become key development resources. I commend C&F Porter Novelli for its roles in this exhibition,” he said.

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