IMPACT OF POOR MAINTENANCE IN GRAPHICS STUDIO EQUIPMENTS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF FINE AND APPLIED ARTS IN NIGERIA

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CHAPTER ONE/INTRODUCTION

Graphical tools such  as paint are imported from elsewhere in the world, and they are expensive. Most students can barely afford them. Hence, the execution of their class works are either hindered or slowed down depending on when they can buy paints. As Irivwier(2009 p.10) a lecturer in the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, Delta state University, Abraka, Delta State, pointed out: With the increasing cost of foreign exchange, the importation of some art materials is limited. At the same time, most art schools mandate that students who have reached the specialized stage in painting use oil colours for most of their class assignments, increasing the burden on these students. Besides lacking painting materials, most painting studios in our art school lack easels, assigning up to 3 students to an easel.

Furthermore, it is sad to note that this problem is not limited to students of painting. Some sculpture studios lack such common tools as a vise. Similarly, the ceramic units of some art schools either lack or have few throwing wheels on which students are expected to work. Lack of equipment is also exacerbated by the unstable power supply. This means that students in metalwork cannot rely on using welding equipment when they need to use it, that pottery students cannot rely on electrically powered potter’s wheels or electric kilns. Further, the textile unit is no

exception as students do not have access to tap water with which to produce tie and dye and other forms of fabric designs; this problem is caused by either of the followings: lack of stable electric power with which to pomp water, poorly maintained taps and water pipes or lack of water storage tanks. If both equipment and materials are problematic, then the future of art production or at least the practical teaching of fine and applied arts is at risk.

Methods and materials is a course aimed at training students on how to experiment with materials available in order to achieve their desired needs. Students  learn from how to build stretchers to the production of paint; moreover, students are taught how to fabricate brushes, pallet knives and so on with the locally available materials. But not all art teachers agree with the idea of materials research. When interviewed, some art teachers were of the view that artists (whether student artists or professionals) have no business seeking the alternative to art materials, rather, they should make do with what is available from other parts of the world.

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