The Access ART X Prize returns for its 2023/2024 edition, with a significantly expanded scope and remit.
The Access ART X Prize awards early-career artists from Africa and its diaspora opportunities to develop their practices, with the intention of setting them up for the highest levels of success on the global stage.
This Prize has changed significantly by extending its reach beyond emerging Nigerian artists to include emerging talents from across Africa and its Diaspora.
The Nigerian Winner Will Receive:
– Residency at Gasworks, London
– Exhibition at ART X Lagos 2024
– Support in the form of a $10,000 grant
– An invaluable opportunity for cultural exchange
The African/Diasporan Winner Will Receive:
– Residency at Yinka Shonibare’s GAS Foundation, Lagos
– Exhibition at ART X Lagos 2024
– Support in the form of a $10,000 grant
– An invaluable opportunity for cultural exchange
The jury for the Access ART X Prize 2023 boasts a roster of esteemed experts, including Babajide Adeniyi-Jones (Documentary photographer), Daudi Karungi (Founder Afriart Gallery), Gabi Ngcobo (Artist, educator, and Curatorial Director of the Javett Art Centre), Emeka Ogboh (Artist), Barthélémy Toguo (Artist), and Yesomi Umolu (Director of Curatorial Affairs and Public Practice for the Serpentine Galleries).
Previous winners of this prestigious prize include Dafe Oboro (2022 Nigerian Winner), Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński (2022 African/Diasporan Winner), Chigozie Obi (2021), Etinosa Yvonne (2019), Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola (2018), Habeeb Andu (2017), and Patrick Akpojotor (2016).
HOW TO APPLY
We welcome artists who have dedicated at least three years to their practice to submit their applications. To apply, please submit an Artist Bio, Portfolio, and a Motivation Letter.
The application deadline is October 18th, 2023.
Don’t miss this chance to be part of the Access ART X Prize and push your artistic career to new heights.
For more information about the Access ART X Prize 2023, please read our FAQs and T&Cs or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline: October 18th, 2023
Access ART X Prize
Alessio Antoniolli is the Director of Gasworks, London, where he leads a programme of exhibitions, international residencies and participatory events. He is also the Director of Triangle Network, a worldwide network of visual art organisations that work together to create artists’ exchanges and to share knowledge with each other. In 2022 he was also appointed curator at Fondazione Memmo, Italy, where he programmes one exhibition each year, starting with a solo presentation by Wai Kin Sin, in 2023. He has lectured widely and has been part of many juries including the UK’s Turner Prize in 2019.
Victor Ehikhamenor is a Nigerian multimedia artist, photographer and writer. He has been prolific in producing abstract, symbolic and politically/historically motivated works.
A 2020 National Artist in Residence at the Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada, Ehikhamenor is also a 2016 Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellow. He has held several solo exhibitions and his works have been included in numerous group exhibitions and biennales, including The 57th Venice Biennale as part of the Nigerian Pavilion (2017), 5th Mediations Biennale in Poznan, Poland (2016), The 12th Dak’art Biennale in Dakar, Senegal (2016), Biennale Jogja XIII, Indonesia (2015).
As a writer, he has published fiction and critical essays in academic journals, magazines and newspapers around the world including New York Times, Guernica Magazine, BBC, CNN Online, Washington Post, etc.
Ehikhamenor is the founder of Angels and Muse, a thought laboratory dedicated to the promotion and development of contemporary African art and literature in Lagos, Nigeria
Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung
Dr Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung is a curator, author, and biotechnologist. He is the founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin and the artistic director of Sonsbeek 20–24. He is also artistic director of the 13th Bamako Encounters, and professor at the Spatial Strategies MA program, Weissensee Academy of Art, Berlin.
Gabi Ngcobo is an artist, educator and Curatorial Director of the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria (Javett-UP). Since the early 2000s Ngcobo has been engaged in collaborative artistic, curatorial, and educational projects in South Africa and on an international scope. Recent curatorial projects include The Show is Over (2022) at the South London Gallery, The ‘t’ is Silent (2022) at Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, SCENORAMA (2022), Handle with Care (2021) both at Javett-UP, Mating Birds Vol.2 at the KZNSA Gallery, Durban (2019). In 2018 Ngcobo curatorially directed the 10th Berlin Biennale titled We don’t need another hero and was one of the co-curators of the 32nd Sao Paulo Bienal titled Incenteza Viva (2016). She is a founding member of the Johannesburg-based collaborative platforms NGO – Nothing Gets Organised (2016-) and the Center for Historical Reenactments (2010–14).
Ngcobo’s writings have been published in various publications including Shooting Down Babylon: The Tracey Rose Retrospective at Zeitz MoCCA, Cape Town, (2022) Uneven Bodies, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Aotearoa New Zealand (2021), The Stronger We Become the catalogue of the South African Pavillion, Venice (2019), We Are Many: Art, the Political and Multiple Truths and Texte Zur Kunst September 2017.
Peju Layiwola is an artist and art historian who combines research with an active artistic practice. Her research, writing and artistic engagements, have consistently engaged themes of artefact pillage, restitution, history, and memory. She has published several articles both locally and internationally some of which appear in notable journals and books. Some of her solo exhibitions include Benin 1897.com: Art and the Restitution Question (2010); Whose Centenary? (2014); Return (2018) and Indigo Reimagined (2019), RESIST! The Art of Resistance, and I Miss You, both exhibitions at the Rautenstrauch Joest Museum, Koln, Germany (2021-22). She has received several awards and grants some of which include the Lagos Studies Association Distinguished Scholar's Award, 2021; Tyson Scholar, Crystal
Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2019; Terra Foundation for American Art Grant, 2018 Distinguished Researcher’s Award, Faculty of Arts, University of Lagos, 2007 to mention a few. She is also an alumnus of the CAA-Getty International Program, participating in 2013 (Los Angeles), 2018 (Los Angeles), and 2020 (Chicago).
Layiwola served as visiting professor and scholar at the University of Arkansas (2019-2020), and has been on several international residencies including the Residency for Artist and Writers (RAW), Arts of Africa and the Global South Research Programme, South Africa 2018; Goethe Institut Grantee, Artist-in-Residence, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf, Germany, 2017 and the University of Bayreuth, Germany. She is a Professor of Art history at the University of Lagos; President of the Art Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA), USA; a life member of the Lagos Studies Association and a member of the College Arts Association, USA.
Layiwola runs two art-led initiatives; a non-profit, the Women and Youth Art Foundation and MasterArtClasses in Lagos. Her work has impacted several communities and has been largely supported by the US State Department – in 2011 through the Hilary Clinton SmARTpower project, US Lagos Consulate grant (2017) and US Exchange Alumni Award in 2018. She is listed in Art Cities of the Future: 21 st Century Avant-Gardes, Phaidon Press, London, 2014 and the more recent Phaidon publication, African Artists From 1882 to now (2021).
Founded in London in 2011 by Maria Varnava, Tiwani Contemporary exhibits and represents 18 contemporary artists focusing on Africa and its international diaspora from the United States to Zimbabwe. In 2021, the gallery celebrated its 10th anniversary. In February 2022, the gallery opened its second space after London, UK in Lagos, Nigeria. Raised in Nigeria and based in London, the gallerist holds an MA in African Studies from SOAS in London.
Financial Times: All eyes on Lagos: an artistic homecoming.
Frieze: The Power of the Pan-African Artistic
Sanwo is a 2D/3D lens-based storyteller, pacemaker and cultural producer. Her works include photographs, video art and virtual reality film. She explores the complexities of postcolonial realism, on bodily, spatial, and temporal imaginaries in the city of Lagos, working through embodied and spatial memory to counter binary positions. Her artistic, curatorial and cultural productions have been showcased at galleries, museums, and festivals in many regions across the world; including at the Studio Museum in Harlem-New York, the New Museum -New York, the 56th Venice Biennale-Venice-Italy, International Documentary Film Festival (IDFA)-Amsterdam, Netherlands, Brunei Gallery London, Koppel Project Hive, London, and the Revolving Art Incubator Lagos, amongst many others. She lives and works out of Lagos, Nigeria.
The Access ART X Prize 2021
The ART X Prize was created to further the careers of emerging Nigerian artists who have demonstrated a commitment to working as professional visual artists.
In the absence of infrastructure that exists in other international centres of contemporary art, the ART X Prize was launched in partnership with Access Bank to contribute to the burgeoning contemporary art scene in Nigeria.
In 2019, the Prize was renamed the Access Bank ART X Prize, and now provides funding, tailored mentoring support, and a residency opportunity in collaboration with Gasworks, to exceptional emerging artists, enabling them to complete ambitious projects that challenge the expectations of local and global audiences.
The Access Bank ART X Prize returns after a hiatus due to Covid-19. The 2019 winner, documentary photographer Etinosa Yvonne, will commence a three-month residency at Gasworks in London in July 2021, creating work for a special solo exhibition at the fair in November, curated by Wura-Natasha Ogunji.
The Access Bank ART X Prize was presided by an esteemed jury consisting of:
Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze
ARTIST AND CURATOR
GALLERIST AND CURATOR
DIRECTOR, GASWORKS & TRIANGLE NETWORK
ART CONSULTANT AND CURATOR
2021 Access Bank ART X Prize Winner
Chigozie Obi’s Bio
A multi-dimensional visual artist, Chigozie Obi’s experimental artworks are created through the layering of multiple materials. Her work is consistent in the use of vibrant colours and figures to portray emotions and stories formed from personal experiences and focuses on the representation of Black/African people in their diversity.
“Emotion is a central theme in my work as I seek to connect with people by making them feel the vehemence in the stories I tell. As the result of personal connection, the subjects in my work thus far have been African/Black people.” – Chigozie Obi
Obi’s works have been featured in several group exhibitions and auctions including ‘Real Life Is Fragile’; Thinkspace Projects, Los Angeles; MoCada Museum’s silent auction (2019) and Collective Renditions, African Artists Foundation, Lagos (2019).
She is one of the recipients of the inaugural Tilga Fund for Arts Grant (2020), and the Art.ng Grant for Visual Artists (2020). She was also a nominee of The Future Awards Prize For Art (2020), a shortlisted artist for The Alpine Fellowship Art Prize (2020), and a former resident of Bethany Arts Community, New York (2020).
The 2019 edition of the Access Bank ART X Prize was adjudicated by a jury of 5 renowned artists and industry stakeholders, namely Emeka Ogboh, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Ibrahim Mahama, Alessio Antoniolli, and Zina Saro-Wiwa.
After a rigorous screening process, five finalists emerged: Ayomitunde Adeleke, Christopher Nelson Obuh, Etinosa Yvonne, Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu and Peter Ebahi Okotor, with Etinosa Yvonne emerging as the winner after live presentations to the jury.
The Access ART X Prize 2019 Winner
Etinosa Yvonne’s Bio
Etinosa Yvonne is a self-taught documentary photographer, based in Abuja, originally from Benin City who considers photography to be a medium of expression and a tool to drive social change. Etinosa leverages the power of visual storytelling to create awareness, educate and inform people about causes and issues she is passionate about.
Etinosa Yvonne will claim the winnings of a cash grant of N1,500,000, a three-month residency at Gasworks, London, in 2021, and a solo presentation at ART X Lagos in 2021.
The 2018 edition of the ART X Prize was adjudicated by a jury of 5 renowned artists and industry stakeholders namely, Professor Bruce Onobrakpeya, Yinka Shonibare CBE, Sokari Douglas Camp CBE, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, and Oliver Enwonwu.
Three finalists, Ayo Akinwande, Williams Chechet and Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola, were selected during a rigorous screening process, with Bolatito emerging as the winner after live presentations to the jury.
Professor Bruce Onobrakpeya
Sokari Douglas Camp CBE
The Access ART X Prize 2018 Winner
Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola’s Bio
Bolatito is a trans-disciplinary artist working primarily in time-based art, interactivity and performance. She lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria, and earned her Masters in Performance Studies from Tisch School of the Performing Arts, New York University and holds a Bachelors in Communication Arts with a focus in Television/Film Production and a minor in Political Science from Allegheny College.
The Access ART X Prize 2017 Winner
Habeeb Andu’s Bio
Habeeb Andu graduated with a degree in painting from Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State, Nigeria. His work bears the proud influence of the late Nigerian artist Ben Osaghae, under whose tutelage he trained upon graduation. Taking inspiration from abstract expressionism, Andu combines vibrant colours, applied with confident brush strokes, with intricately arranged elements of discarded material, resulting in mid-to-large sized mixed-media works that explore socio-political themes.
The Access ART X Prize 2016 Winner
Patrick Akpojotor’s Bio
Patrick Akpojotor is a visual artist working across printmaking, painting and installation art. He studied at the School of Art and Design, Federal Polytechnic, Auchi and Lagos State Polytechnic, and received several awards including the Olusegun Obasanjo National Art Competition (2013), and ART X Prize (2016). His works are part of King Mohammed VI of Morocco’s collection.