Access Holdings, ART X collective to inspire Africa’s emerging talent with the Access Art X Prize 2023

Access Holdings, a trailblazing financial institution, and ART X Collective, a leading cultural enterprise, have announced commencement of the highly anticipated entry call for the Access ART X Prize 2023.

The applications, which became open to the public on Wednesday, September 20, 2023 will run through Wednesday, October 18, 2023. Entries will be exclusively available for submission at ARTXLAGOS.COM/PRIZE. Through the 2023 edition, ART X Collective and Access Holdings will be empowering emerging artists by selecting two outstanding talents, each receiving a healthy $10,000 grant towards an exhibition at ART X Lagos 2024.

Aimed at fostering creativity and elevating emerging talent across Africa, the transformative opportunity will see the Nigerian winner embark on a 3-month residency at Gasworks, London, while the African/Diasporan winner will participate in a 3-month residency at Yinka Shonibare’s GAS Foundation in Lagos. Both recipients will also receive personalised mentorship support, a hallmark of the partners’ shared commitment to nurturing artistic growth, and providing an invaluable opportunity for cultural exchange.

Speaking on the initiative’s essence, Herbert Wigwe, Group Managing Director of Access Holdings Plc, said, “Access Holdings is proud to, once again, champion the Access ART X Prize, a beacon of support for emerging African artists. We believe in the transformative power of art to shape culture, foster diversity, drive meaningful change, and influence the global perception of our continent.

“The Access ART X Prize is, however, not just about recognising talent; it is about empowering the next generation of African artists to tell their stories and inspire the world. Through this initiative, we reaffirm our commitment to nurturing creativity and driving the growth of the African art industry, fostering a brighter, more inclusive future for all,” Wigwe added.

Since its inception in 2016, the Access ART X Prize has illuminated the paths of early career artists, providing them with diverse opportunities to showcase their talents. In a watershed moment last year, the Access ART X Prize transcended its Nigerian roots and expanded its horizons to encompass early-career artists from across the African continent and its diaspora.

This groundbreaking move was inspired by a profound dedication to fostering inclusivity and diversity within the African art scene as well as facilitating cross-cultural exchange. The result was a celebration of remarkable talent, with the 2022 Access ART X Prize proudly awarded to two exceptional talents: Dafe Oboro (Nigerian Prize-winner) and Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński (Africa/Diaspora Prize-winner).

The rigorous evaluation process for submissions by early-career artists is overseen by a distinguished panel of renowned artists and cultural practitioners. These experts will be assessing creativity, originality, and technical skill with meticulous care, ensuring that the most exceptional talents rise to the top.

The Access ART X Prize 2023 will be judged by an esteemed jury which includes Babajide Adeniyi-Jones (Photographer), Barthélémy Toguo (Artist), Daudi Karungi (Founder, Afriart Gallery), Emeka Ogboh (Artist), Gabi Ngcobo (Artist and Curatorial Director, University of Pretoria), and Yesomi Umolu (Director of Curatorial Affairs and Public Practice, Serpentine Galleries). The curator of the 2023 edition is the highly regarded Jumoke Sanwo.

Tokini Peterside-Schwebig, Founder and CEO of ART X Collective said: “We are honoured to have such a diverse and experienced jury for the Access ART X Prize 2023. Their expertise and perspectives will ensure a fair and comprehensive evaluation of the submissions, ultimately bolstering this exceptional platform for early career artists to showcase their work and engage in meaningful dialogue with the global art community.

We are proud of our contribution to the visual art landscape across Nigeria, Africa and the Diaspora, over the past seven years, and remain steadfast in our commitment to propel our artists forward, to live out their potential as narrative changemakers for our continent and for its culture. Through the creation and production of initiatives such as the Access ART X Prize, and our flagship art fair, ART X Lagos, our organisation seeks consistently to champion the redefinition of the narrative about our continent, and its people.

We would like to thank Access Holdings, which has consistently stood with us as we have strived to promote and elevate the next generation of African artists. Their commitment to fostering creativity and providing pivotal opportunities for artists, is invaluable in driving the growth and development of the African art industry.”

For more information on the Access ART X Prize, please visit ARTXLAGOS.COM/PRIZE.

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