Does African Art Have a History?

Art history is said to be the study of the past, particularly how it relates to humans. The term is universally applied to past events of individuals, cultures and associations. It unravels the genesis or etymology of the things in existence today. The term ‘history’ is from the Greek word, ‘historia’ meaning “inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation” (Munslow, 2001). Thus, it is the thorough investigation and search of our past which results in the acquisition of the knowledge of the past or the origin of things. The learning of our history is very important. Learning of the past has the potential of improving the life of man today and in the future.However, it is sad to know that a poor documentation usually result in ambiguity and even loss of the wonderful storehouse of knowledge of the past. Prior to the advent of writing, history was preserved orally and passed on from parents to their wards resulting in oral historical tradition. The age of writing has witnessed the recordings of our past oral historical tradition. Long before the recording of events the colorful African art history has already been growing, reshaping itself with the passing of time. Depicting the various and elaborate societies and empires, the history of African art illustrates the vibrant cultures and traditions each group has nurtured with each successive generation.There have been several distortions in the written histories. Such is the largely the case of the documentation of African art history. This is making some people even those in the academia to assert that African art has no history. But can this assertion be true? Certainly that cannot be. African art has a history since every human endeavor has its Genesis. African art is mostly used to refer to the Sub-Saharan arts excluding the arts of the North African areas along the Mediterranean coast. The arts of the North Africans are normally classified along with Islamic art by some scholars. This is very unfortunate and wrong because a critical analysis of the arts of Northern Africa such as Egypt and others reveals different formal values and principles which are not characteristics of the Islamic art forms. The author opines and redefines African Art as the ingenuity and creative innovations of Africans in the various forms of arts which mostly have African traditional cultural elements and values.The origins of African art can be traced in a longer time span even before recorded history. African rock art in the Sahara in Niger alone preserves wood carvings that are more than six thousand (6000) years. Also, the paintings and artifacts of the Egyptians, and indigenous southern crafts which have greatly contributed to African art find their places in the ancient times. Artworks in Africa were often depicted in abstract forms of animals, plant life, or natural designs and shapes.In West Africa, the earliest known sculptures are from the Nok culture which thrived between 500 BC and 500 AD in modern Nigeria, with clay terracotta figures typically with elongated bodies and angular shapes. It is known today that very complex production techniques of art were developed in sub-Saharan Africa around the 10th century. This includes the mastery productions of bronze works of the Igbo Ukwu as well as the terracottas and metal works of Ile-Ife which was ornamented with ivory and precious stones are examples of the proud artistic heritage of Africans.We cannot dissuade these wonderful historic accounts of which we have visual proofs of the works and blatantly say that African Art has no history. It has not just a history but a rich, colourful and long standing artistic cultural history.The study of art history is largely divided into two by art historians. These include studying the history in thematic fashion or in timelines. The thematic elements approach to the study of African art includes looking at the history in the light of some themes or topics. Some of the themes as sculpture of Africa, Adinkra cloth production by Ghanaians etc. Others include materials for production, countries, etc. The author want to take affirm that there are histories of some of the visual artforms such as Adinkra cloth, Kente, wood carvings and goldweights produced among the Asante ethnic society in Ghana.African art has a long standing history which must be acknowledged. As Art historians, art critics and authors, we have to write and record the wonderful creations of Africa. There is the urgent need now for art critics and historians in Africa and Ghana especially to record the extraordinary works of art of today’s contemporary African artists to make them available for our forebears. Adulteration of our historical traditions would gradually mar our identity as a people. African art has a history and we have to preserve, promote and transmit this historical heritage. If art educators, curriculum planners etc. make the teaching of our rich cultural African art tradition a priority, we will be able to propagate our rich African art tradition and lavishly paint it on the world’s largest canvas of art history.Reference:Munslow, A. (2001). History in Focus, Issue 2: What is History?. University of London; London. Retrieved on 9th October, 2015.

Improved Office Environment Can Improve Attitude

The sunshine after a dreary winter seems to invigorate us. We start to clean our houses, throw open the windows and enjoy the fresh air. Spring cleaning is also important for businesses. We need to organize, discard, rearrange, redecorate and document. We need a fresh look!James Kuster, of Kuester Design in Indianapolis, suggests that when considering changing your office colors, think hard about how you feel while at work. Are you anxious, irritable, have difficulty concentrating? Or, are you excited, energized, and focused? If the former better describes your workspace than the latter, take a look at the office décor. One’s environment has a direct bearing on one’s mood and energy level.Look at the color choices for the walls. Are they institutional, boring, drab? How do they make you feel? You and everyone else in the office will be more productive if the colors stimulate and make you feel “up beat” and positive.Does your office have areas where small groups can comfortably gather to exchange ideas, stretch their legs, and get away from the desk for a few minutes? Are there comfortable chairs, sofas, and ottomans available? How about chalkboards and white boards for doodling ideas on? Carve out a space where this can happen. Bring in dividers that can separate a small area and serve as an idea and relaxation lounge.None of this has to cost a lot, either. If painting the walls is not in the budget, buying bright framed posters and hanging them on the wall can make a huge impact. Colorful rugs can change the look and feel of a room and hallway. And fresh flowers always bring a bright feeling to any office environment.Last, but not least, Look at your entry area. This is the first impression visitors make about your company. Keeping it clean, fresh and welcoming is very important.These small changes create a better work environment; everyone will enjoy coming to work more. Thus, more gets done while they are there.This is also the perfect time to organize your desk. We all know how important it is to be efficient and organized. Just like a clean room, a clean desk brings a bit of peace and tranquility to a busy day. According to you can complete the following 8 steps in just a few minutes.1. Remove everything from your desktop. Place your phone on your left if you’re right handed and on the right if you’re left handed.2. Keep a spiral notebook by the phone for messages and phone notes.3. Open your planner or turn on your PDA and place it on your desk. Use it to keep track of to-dos, follow-ups and ideas.4. Keep office supplies in one drawer only. Buy a dozen of your favorite, inexpensive pens and keep them in a tray in the drawer.5. Sort through your desk files. Keep in your desk drawers only files you use weekly or those that are personal or confidential.6. Place your computer at a 90 degree angle to your desk. Keep your desk work surface clear of everything except essentials and your current project.7. Set up a system for active files. Sort your paperwork into it: Do, Consider, Awaiting Answer, File, Hold, Read and Refer.8. Take ten minutes at the end of each day to keep your desk organized. Place tomorrow’s top priority project in the center of your desk.Once you’ve created your fresh look, and have an organized desktop, there is one more project to complete. Spring is also the perfect time to take inventory of your business assets. It is important to record all equipment, furniture and electronics. Then, as new items are purchased, you can just add them to your list that has already been created. Each year forward, you’ll remember to review your list and make sure all new items were added and any discarded items are removed from your asset inventory.

Executive Office Furniture Is The Key to a Successful Business

When you own a business, you feel on top of the world and you will want to have the most luxurious office. This is definitely not a bad thing and every businessman will have the same thought when it comes to his office. This is not only required so that you can feel proud and satisfied each day but this majestic look is also required so that your visitors and clients will get a very good first impression about the professionalism and success of your business. An executive look will not only give you comfort and respect, but it will also give you good business and boost profits.Using executive office furniture will add more worth to your office. You will be able to find a huge variety of executive office furniture. This furniture is designed in such a way that they not only give comfort but also give a grand look to your office space. Today most of the interior decorators also prefer reliable executive office furniture to decorate the executive’s room.Now, with the need and work style taking a huge transformation and with everyone expecting luxury, this furniture has made a huge change compared to the traditional executive furniture. There is a variety of executive office furniture pieces beginning with simple furniture to anything large you may need. In fact, there are a few dealers who will specially design new executive office furniture for their clients with large budgets based on their requirements.
Once you have made up your mind to furnish your office with the executive office furniture you will have to do some preliminary work like thinking of the purpose of the room. What kind of furniture will be required? This will give you a fair idea of what kind of furniture you will need. It also makes sense to measure the size of the room so that you can buy furniture that will fit exactly in and give a chic look to your room. You can also consider other interior decorating options like the paint color and wall hangings before buying the furniture.With all these things set in your mind, you can either browse the internet for elegant executive office furniture or visit your nearest outlet. Make sure that your furnishing items not only have an executive and elegant look but are also lightweight. It is good to opt for furniture made of glass or any other weightless materials since then transportation will be easier. Furniture should be selected in such a way that they reflect the style, personality and the professionalism of the executive and his business. The décor and furnishing of an executive office should make everyone feel and think of new ways to achieve success.Good furniture has the ability to make you feel good. It can give you warmth leading you to think better and earn more. Obviously you will need some time and expert advice in giving your room this feel and it is definitely a sensible thing to do.