The idea of philanthropy in the arts in an African context has never been more important. The traditional model of philanthropy needs to evolve in order to ensure it fulfils its own potential as a catalyst for growth and best serves the needs of those it is intended to support. Patronage is crucial in supporting artists to reach their creative potential.
Over the past decade, I’ve been running a project space for emerging artists in east London called Guest Projects. Based just off Broadway Market, it supports practitioners in a variety of disciplines, from visual artists to musicians to theatre companies.
The British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare is planning to launch an artist residency programme across two sites in Nigeria: one in Lagos and the other in the rural area of Ijebu in Ogun state.
The British Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare plans to create two artist residencies in Nigeria through his Guest Artists Space (GAS) Foundation.
Yinka Shonibare CBE has announced a new artist residency opening in Lagos in 2021. Guest Artists Space Lagos will complement Shonibare’s London creative hub, Guest Projects.
In addition to the residency centre in Lagos designed by Elsie Owusu Architects, which will feature a gallery, a studio and accommodation spaces — all barrier-free and wheelchair accessible — artists both emerging and established will be invited to the Nigerian state of Ogun.
The term “African art” can produce a visceral reaction: those who are used to seeing their own country’s history and legacy mushed into one generic paste will, rightfully, recoil at hearing the phrase.
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