The University of Liberia Department of Arts and Craft today jump-started activities in celebration of the 101st College- Bloc Commencement Convocation that begins on Monday, February 22, 2021, at the Samuel Kayan Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville. 

An indoor and exhibition ceremony showcasing handmade traditional artifacts and paintings by the faculty and students were held.

The Director for Student Academic Counseling at UL Rev. Nelly Wright served as guest speaker.

Rev. Wright said the study and practice of Arts and crafts are not only limited to woodwork and carving, and making of artifacts, traditional and cultural paintings. 

“Arts and craft are not only about woodwork and carving, but it also provides an opportunity for any nation and its people to understand, and look back and appreciate their culture.

Making remarks, UL President, Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson thanked the Faculty of the department for the creative work they are initiating so far.

He also paid homage to past chairpersons of the department and specifically the late chairman, Prof. Oho Wilson who died one year ago.

“Let me thank all of you for a good job and particularly the late Chairman Oho Wilson for the invaluable contributions he made to preserve the traditional and cultural values of arts and craft at the University of Liberia”.

“We hereby pledge our support to the department in order for it to expand in other areas, including dramatic and culture troops, and music, Dr. Nelson assured.

Speaking earlier, the Dean of Liberia College, Dr. Josephus M. Gray said the department cuts across every department in the University.

Dr. Gray underscored the important role the University can play in promoting the cultural and traditional values of Liberia.

“I believe the UL, through the Arts and Crafts department, has all the skills and experience to model Liberia’s culture identity like the Statue of Liberty in the U. S., the Great Wall in China, and the ‘Famous Tower in London, Great Britain”.

Every commencement year the department showcases the hand works of students and visiting artists.

The rationale of this year’s exhibition is to foster creativity to think, act, express emotions, communicate an idea, and also develop aesthetic concepts.

Materials on display at the exhibition included landscapes, still life composition, portraits, clothing and textiles, beads of craft, shoemaking, and interior decorations and designs. 

The department of Arts and Craft was established under Liberia College in 1951, with the late Vanja Richards as its first Chairman.