Julius Agbaje from Nigeria and Asmaa Jama representing the African/Diasporan category have won the top prize at the recently concluded Access ART X.
The two standout talents were selected from an exceptional pool of finalists. The Access ART X Prize, a prestigious platform for recognising and nurturing emerging artistic talent from Africa and its diaspora were able to get these emerging artists from 3500 entries.
Julius Agbaje and Asmaa Jama , who were announced at a ceremony, held at Access Holdings’ headquarters in Lagos, are now proud recipients of $10,000 grants and will have the honour of holding solo exhibitions at ART X Lagos 2024.
According to the organisers, the Nigerian winner will embark on a three-month residency at Gasworks, London, while the African/Diasporan winner will enjoy a residency at Yinka Shonibare’s GAS Foundation in Lagos. Both recipients will benefit from tailored mentorship and an invaluable opportunity for cultural exchange.
Speaking on the Access ART X Prize, Tokini Peterside-Schwebig, the founder of ART X Collective, expressed her excitement, stating: “Our vision to showcase the depth and diversity of contemporary African art to the world revealed a critical necessity, which was the need to nurture and guide emerging talent on the continent to ensure their lasting impact.
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. We are elated that this platform has endured and thrived over the years, marked by substantial growth.
The increasing number of annual applications underscores both the vital need for our support and the tangible impact we are having. None of this would be possible without the invaluable support of our sponsor, Access Holdings, who has trusted us and supported our vision for the past eight years.”
Herbert Wigwe, group chief executive officer of Access Holdings PLC, added that , “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.”
“Having faced a challenging task in selecting the winners, given the exceptional level of talent and creativity on display, the jury selected Roanna Tella (Nigerian category) and Lawrence Mwangi (African/Diaspora category) for honourable mentions. Both artists will receive prizes of $2,000 and tailored mentorship.
The distinguished jury for the 2023 Access ART X Prize comprised luminaries such as Babajide Adeniyi-Jones (Documentary Photographer), Barthélémy Toguo (Artist), Daudi Karungi (Founder of Afriart Gallery), Emeka Ogboh (Artist), Gabi Ngcobo (Artist, Educator, and Curatorial Director of the Javett Art Centre), and Yesomi Umolu (Director of Curatorial Affairs and Public Practice for the Serpentine Galleries). Jumoke Sanwo served as the curator of the prize for the second year running.