A Tale of Two Art Centres
The first is the Arts & Craft Village and the second be the jewel on the crown Nike Art Gallery Lugbe, Abuja
Arts & Craft Village
The Arts & Craft Village is located in Central Business District, Abuja. Adjacent to Sheraton Hotel and near the Yar’adua Centre and Silverbird cinema complex.
A pleasant stroll around the centre can take you a couple of hours and while it has the basic tourist fare prices are affordable and you can get some interesting paintings or artefacts from N4,000 to N100,000.
For me, 3 shops stood out all towards the end of the village.
One shop sold solid brass and copper sculptures with the largest sculptures setting one back to the tune of N2,000,000
Another shop specialised in wooden carved furniture from ornamented chairs (which were quite comfortable to sit on) to tables of different sizes and chest of draws. All good for those of us that like the more authentic African furniture that won’t clutter up your lounge and will give you a special sense of style. Prices started from N25,000 to N60,000. They also did smaller carvings for hanging on the wall
The 3rd shop in the centre that stood out for me was actually a bookshop. Cassava Publishing is a Nigerian publishing company which has a shop in the village. All their books are sold there and most novels cost around N3,000 to N4,000. A good place to go to for well written Nigerian and African centred novels, non-fiction and even cookbooks.
After a walk around the Arts & Craft Village, why not take a well-deserved meal and drink at Madiba Antique a boutique restaurant, grill and bar set in a comfortable venue located at the entrance of the Arts & Craft Centre. They have a very tasty variety of Nigerian dishes all at affordable prices and they serve cold freshly tapped palm wine from just N400. Madiba Antique has a nice easy feel to it with an African themed décor style inside the restaurant and a lot of open space for a relaxing place to drink and take a fish/meat grill. For me, as I have now relocated to Abuja Madiba Antique will become my local.
Nike Art Gallery
This was the jewel in the crown, the place I had been looking forward to visiting since relocating to Abuja and it didn’t disappoint.
Situated on the outskirts of Abuja in Lugbe on Airport road it can be a bit difficult to locate but worth the effort
Nike Art Gallery is owned by the renowned Nigeria artist, philanthropist and entrepreneur Nik and is one of her several art galleries around Nigeria.
Apart from a well-stocked art gallery with some Nikki paintings and other interesting items for sale (a good-sized painting can set you back around £200 plus there is an art school and a fantastic underutilised garden with intriguing sculptures and nice landscaping.
I was informed that on Saturdays they hold events and serve fresh palm wine.