Mr Alexander Asum-Ahensah, Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture, on Thursday said his ministry would provide the needed push and support for the visual arts industry to make it a vehicle to re-brand the country.
He said the arts and culture sector of a country should to be protected because it depicted the totality of the lifestyle of the people, which distinguished them from their neighbours.
Mr Asum-Ahensah said this in a speech read on his behalf at the opening of the Fifth Exhibition of Paintings, Textiles and Sculptures organised by the Greater Accra Branch of the Ghana Association of Visual Artists (GAVA) in Accra.
It is aimed at stimulating national interest and appreciation for the visual arts industry.
He said the arts and culture industry was a new reality for the country and provided a mirror through which the people could gain access to the future.
“When we talk of self-reliance, self-sufficiency and national identity as the core of our national development objectives, we are referring to the arts and culture sector as the fountain spring of all policies be they educational, economical and or social,” he said.
Mr Asum-Ahensah challenged artists to set standards and ensure professionalism with their art presentations to reposition the industry to enable it to cope with the transformation taking place in the world’s art market.
He also called for a more innovative way of marketing works of visual artists to enable them to reap full benefits of their labour.
He urged visual artists to be alert observers, improvisers and to be inquisitive about conditions of daily life to enable them to create new designs.
Mr Franklin Nii Glover, President of Greater Accra branch of GAVA, said sales and appreciation for the works of the visual artists had been on the decline over the years.
He called on the public to purchase arts products as a way of supporting the industry.
The exhibition which, is ongoing at the Ghana National Museums and Monuments Board, opens until the end of September.