Fostering cross-cultural ties, exchange with Lagos Creative Project

The Lagos Creative Project 2020, an art residency initiated by Ben Enwonwu Foundation in partnership with Alliance Française Lagos/Mike Adenuga Centre, has announced calls for entries. 

The project, which focuses on experimentation and new possibilities in painting and sculpture, two mediums celebrated African pioneer modernist artist, Ben Enwonwu excelled in, also welcomes work in all areas of the visual arts and is open to artists of African and French descent, seeks to foster cross-cultural ties and exchange between African countries and France by providing a platform for them to broaden their practice, nurture new forms and ideas, establish networks and develop collaborative projects, says Oliver Enwonwu, the Director of Ben Enwonwu Foundation and president of Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA).

According to him, the programme encourages applications that engage Lagos as a megacity by exploring themes that preoccupied Enwonwu throughout his career, including identity, the body (the gaze), gender equality, spirituality and religion, peace and conflict resolution, and environmental sustainability.

“During their stay, residents will immerse themselves in the increasingly vibrant Lagos art scene, through introductions to local artists, artisans, art organisations and events, as well as cultural and academic institutions. They are also expected to engage with the public through open studios, workshops, artist talks and focused discussions.

“Two sessions will hold every year from July – September and October – December, at the Centre.

“During their stay, residents will immerse themselves in the increasingly vibrant Lagos art scene, through introductions to local artists, artisans, art organisations and events, as well as cultural and academic institutions. They are also expected to engage with the public through open studios, workshops, artist talks and focused discussions”

In his remark, the Director of Alliance Française (AF) Lagos, Charles Courdent, said Alliance Française is committed to promoting cultural diversity, noting that there are not enough residencies in Lagos, and that this project will help.

A panel judges comprising renowned  Nigerian painter, sculptor and printmaker,  celebrated  as  one  of  the  most  successful  artists  to  have  emerged  in  West  Africa  in  the  20th century, Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya, the Director of Alliance Française (AF) Lagos, Charles Courdent, founder and chief executive officer of Artfundi, Tamzin Lovell-Miller, the  founder and director  of African Artists’ Foundation (AAF), Azu  Nwagbogu, and the founder of the 1-54 art fair, the leading international art fair   dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and her diaspora, Touria El Glaoui. 

Selected artists will be provided with a live/work studio space at the new, ultra modern Alliance Française Lagos/Mike Adenuga Centre in Nigeria.

“Playing host to many major arts events in Lagos, its facilities – including a gallery, library, state-of-the art auditorium, and the world famous bakery/ bistro Maison Eric Keyser – are excellent for research, exhibitions, presentations and talks.

“All artists will receive a monthly stipend for incidentals and a one-off stipend for additional art supplies. Funding for travel within Lagos will also be covered while assistance with visa letters will be extended to international participants. However, they will be responsible for their visa fees, travel fare and health care.

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