ART X Lagos announces winners of the Access ART X Prize 2023

Art x Price 2023 winners

In a celebration of emerging artistic talent from Nigeria and its diaspora, the prestigious Access ART X Prize has announced its winners for the 2023 edition. Julius Agbaje from Nigeria and Asmaa Jama representing the African/Diasporan category have emerged as the standout talents, selected from a pool of exceptional finalists.

The announcement occurred at a ceremony held at Access Holdings’ headquarters in Lagos, where the artistic prowess, unique vision, and potential for the global impact of Agbaje and Jama were recognized. As a testament to their talent, both artists will receive $10,000 grants towards solo exhibitions at ART X Lagos 2024, providing them with an incredible platform to showcase their evolving artistic narratives and ideas.

In addition to the grants, Agbaje, the Nigerian winner, will embark on a three-month residency at Gasworks in London. Meanwhile, Jama, the African/Diasporan winner, will enjoy a residency at Yinka Shonibare’s GAS Foundation in Lagos. These residencies will provide invaluable opportunities for cultural exchange and offer tailored mentorship to enhance their artistic journeys further.

Before the winners were announced, all the finalists participated in a two-day ‘Finalist Forum’ aimed at equipping them with vital presentation skills and offering valuable artistic insights. This immersive initiative included interactive workshops and expert and peer review opportunities, all under the guidance of esteemed facilitators.

Speaking on the Access ART X Prize, Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive Officer Of Access Holdings PlC, added, “At Access Holdings, we view the Access ART X Prize as more than an accolade; rather, as a catalyst for change. It is a testament to our unwavering commitment to foster creativity and propel the African art industry towards unprecedented heights.”

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The jury, comprised of luminaries such as Babajide Adeniyi-Jone, Barthéleémy Toguo, Daudi Karungi, Emeka Ogboh, Gabi Ngcobo, and Yesomi Umolu, faced a challenging task in selecting the winners given the exceptional level of talent and creativity on display. Roanna Tella and Lawrence Mwangi were recognized with Honorable Mentions, receiving $2,000 prizes and tailored mentorship.

Founder of Art X Collective, Tokini Peterside-Schwebig, expressed her excitement, stating, “The birth of the Access ART X Prize was fueled by an ardent commitment to bridging the gap for early-career artists, empowering them to evolve into adept, globally relevant creatives.” The prize has continued to grow, with an overwhelming response of over 3,500 applications from around the world during the 4-week application period for the 2023 edition.

Created by ART X Lagos and sponsored by Access Corporation, the Access ART X Prize serves as a launchpad for early-career artists from Africa and its diaspora, providing them with opportunities to advance their practices on a global stage. Past winners include Dafe Oboro, Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński, Chigozie Obi, Etinosa Yvonne, Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola, Habeeb Andu, and Patrick Akpojotor.

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