Prof Ablade Glover has wondered why Ghana, as a nation, does not have even one art gallery and seems not to give art the serious attention it deserves as other nations do.
Appearing on Class91.3FM’s morning show on Friday, 9 December 2022, Prof Glover told host Korku Lumor: “My woes, my troubles; I wonder why – up to this day – this nation hasn’t woken up, hasn’t come to the realisation that: ‘Listen, you would sell one art and it will save this whole nation’, and we need to develop our artists so that they will reach that level and all they do, those who will reach that level, is to promote the artist to spend money, some small peanut; it’s like growing, nurturing a situation”.
He then bemoaned: “… Do you know we have no art gallery in the country?”
“This nation is like a country that has no hospital”, he noted.
“This is the saddest part because this nation is like a nation that has sick people and has no hospital”, adding: “It’s unfortunate”.
He complained: “We train artists and they come out and they go to work in the banks, they go to be teachers, they go to do anything and you don’t even give them the encouragement to practice”.
To fill the art void in the nation, Prof Glover said he decided to establish the Artists Alliance Gallery.
“That is why I came into retirement and I thought, ‘no, no, no; it’s too much’, [and, so, I came in with the Artists Alliance Gallery]”.
He said: “I had the opportunity to talk to a lot of people in power and everybody thinks ‘that man is crazy’; they think I’m crazy because all you talk about is art and the promotion and selling of art; so, I thought I would do something about it. That is the result of the Artists Alliance Gallery”.
In his view, “art is the very basis of our cultural sphere” and, so, must be taken seriously by the authorities.
“Art preserves, for the nation, what is happening and that is why when people visit, they go to an art gallery and in the art gallery, all the artists that are showing there, are showing their impression of what they have picked out of the society and, therefore, preserving the culture”, Prof Glover explained.
Trained in Ghana, the UK, and the USA, Prof Ablade Glover has accumulated many distinctions that underline his significance as an artist and educator, both in Ghana and across the international art scene.
Prof Glover’s work reveals his vibrant passion for life, activity and colour, according to the renowned London-based October Gallery long-established for exhibiting contemporary, international, avant-garde works.
Using warm impastoed pigments to express the sun and heat of his country, Prof Glover depicts animated landscapes that mirror the exuberant diversity of Africa: its bustling market stalls, brightly attired crowds, and the dynamic energy that is Ghana.
October Gallery first showed the distinctive canvases of Ablade Glover in 1982, in one of the first shows at the Gallery of an artist from the continent of Africa.
In 2019, his ninth solo exhibition at the Gallery Wogbe Jeke – We Have Come a Long Way, opened to celebrate his 85th birthday.
The universality of Prof Glover’s work is reflected in the breadth and variety of his collectors.
His work can be found in collections such as the Imperial Palace Collection, Tokyo, Japan; UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France; Africa First Collection, Tel Aviv, Israel; and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Chicago, USA.
He has been exhibited extensively in West Africa, Europe, the USA, and Japan.
Prof Glover also occupies a major position in Ghana’s contemporary art scene, as the Founder and Director of the internationally acclaimed Artists Alliance Gallery in Accra, Ghana.