Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Kuono Trust

Ben Bosah Books has issued a call for submissions from all Nigerian Visual Artist

NEW ALBANY, Ohio - Ben Bosah Books has issued a call for submissions to all Nigerian fine artists producing works in any medium. We are accepting high-resolution images of photographs of these works for a highly anticipated publication. These photographs of the works of selected artists will be published in a book titled One Hundred One Nigerian Contemporary Artists. The book launch will take place on Friday, October 1, 2010 with the books available immediately, locally and internationally, wherever books are sold.

Submissions should be sent by email to101Artists@benbosahbooks.com. Please follow the instructions provided on the website to prevent the disqualification of your submission. The application and all the other necessary information is available on the Ben Bosah Books website athttp://www.benbosahbooks.com. Once on the website, navigate to the 'Nigerian Artists' tab. Click on Download Document tab to download two documents necessary to participate. The first one is the Application form and the second one is the Artist Permission Letter. The web page also provides details on how to submit electronic images of works for consideration. The deadline for submitting the application forms, images and rights to reproduce permission is May 31, 2010.

After years of observing quality work by Nigerian artists who labor in obscurity suffer from lack of exposure, Ben Bosah, Publisher of Ben Bosah Books has taken upon himself the initiative to increase exposure for contemporary Nigerian artist. This publication intends to share with the world at large, the quality and variety of works produced by Nigerian artists.

"After years of collecting different works of arts by Nigerian artists in Nigeria and the Diaspora, I found it baffling that most of them were still not getting the recognition that they deserved, so I decided to do something about it. Yes, we have the masters like Enwonwu and Onabrakpeya, but there are two other generations of artists, some already successful, and others not. But we expect that a book of this nature will begin to bring about the appropriate exposure to the artists who will thrive because of the wider audience for their works."

One-Hundred One Nigerian Contemporary Artists will showcase pieces by each featured artists, which in their own judgment, best represents their style. Insightful essays will complement the art images. An index of contributors and contact information will be also included. The content of this publication will serve as a vital resource for interested collectors, museums and galleries to easily find these individual artists and patronize their works of art.

Mr. George Edozie, a practicing artist based in Lagos will be the Managing Editor for the book and lead the effort to get as many artists as possible to participate. Mr. Edozie's enthusiasm is best shared in his words:
"I am very happy to be associated with this book and grateful to Ben Bosah for spearheading this most important book. Our country of one hundred and fifty million people has its share of contemporary artists and after this book is published, the world will get an excellent opportunity to see our works and its high quality."

Sponsorship opportunities are available for companies interested in joining the efforts of Ben Bosah Books. We are accepting sponsorships for the book publication and a touring exhibition works by featured artists. Interested companies should write tocbbosah@benbosahbooks.com.

About Ben Bosah Books

Ben Bosah Books is an independent publisher of books that make a difference in the lives of the peoples of the world. We are located at 3575 Head of Pond Road, New Albany, Ohio 43054, United States of America. Our telephone number is +1-614-939-0595. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.benbosahbooks.com.

Ben Bosah Books
Oreoluwa Adedeji

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Triangle arts trust knowledge and skills sharing programme and the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), Lagos

culled from the Kuona Trust March newsletter

For one month between February & March, I had the opportunity of spending time with renowned curator Bisi Silva at the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) Lagos on a knowledge and skills sharing programme.

The aim was to support the professional development of organizations in the triangle network. This is an opportunity for coordinators to work alongside their peers sharing experiences, knowledge and skills for the benefit of their organizations, local artists and the community. The residencies are a hands-on project with the visiting coordina­tors becoming involved in the life of the host organization and contributing to the host’s project with their skills and expertise. The host is also expected to offer support to the visiting coordinator through their particular knowledge and skills so that both sides can learn from each other.

CCA, Lagos is an independent non-profit making visual art organization set up to pro­vide a platform for the development, presentation, and discussion of contemporary visual art and culture by prioritizing new media and experimental visual art practice such as photography, animation, film and video, performance art, and installation art, which have been under-presented in contemporary Nigerian artistic practice.

I arrived on a hot (38°C) Wednesday mid-morning and after getting stuck in Lagos traffic; go slow for over an hour, I finally got to No. 9 McEwen Street, Sabo, Yaba where I was received by Bisi, CCA’s Director/Founder who gave me a tour of the space and introduced me to the rest of CCA staff.

My first week was a typical “Get into a new environment and find your way around week.”

I managed to get my bearings from Lawa Hotel to CCA and from Alagomeji to Victoria Island. Got to learn a little Pidgin and sample some Jollof rice, pepper soup & garri and after I understood the value of the Naira in relation to the Kenya Shilling, it was time to dive into the mechanisms of CCA with emphasis on the ongoing photography resi­dency.

I was very interested in the general running of CCA with more bias on their exhibitions and the whole process from conceptualization, budgeting, writing texts, curatorials, realization and cataloguing/publishing.

Alongside this, I was also keen on helping with the running of the residency as a tem­porary artist liaison; being the link between CCA administration and the residency par­ticipants. This was tonnes of fun as I helped with documentation, collecting and editing materials for the residency blog (artspeakafrica.blogspot.org).

Working within CCA, I was able to understand their role in the art world, their ideals, how they work to achieve these and their relationship with artists and other art institu­tions.

The endless conversations I had with Bisi were priceless. Spending time with such a resourceful person was quite inspiring and will always have her to thank for making me re-define “the role of arts organizations within the continent in nurturing African artists so as to be competitive/relevant in the global art scene.”

Coming from a background of running workshops and residencies, it was interesting to note that our structures were similar but CCA emphasized more on process and con­cept. Unlike other residencies I’ve had the opportunity to be part of, this had an intel­lectual edge; we’d come in and just talk, do presentations, see other artists’ works and look at photographs critically and by the time the participants went out to take images, they really knew how to.

I also had a chance to sit through a lot of presentations done by visiting artists and curators/critics which were quite insightful but Senam Okuzdeto’s “Ghana Must Go: Personal Narratives, Identity & Identification” and Tam Fiofori’s “History, Culture & Photography in Nigeria” with emphasis on 19thC Nigerian photographer J.A Green were special.

Though CCA and Kuona Trust are both trusts founded on similar objectives, it was quite interesting to see and be part of how CCA approach their activities and how com­mitted they are in trying to shift the dynamics of the Nigerian art scene which are quite similar to ours where the art schools having a huge disconnect with the art scene.

They go to great lengths in trying to modernize their art scene starting from very basic technical workshops where they teach artists how to, to more intellectual platforms on how to articulate yourself.

All in all, the Nigerian art scene is big! They have serious local patronage and artists who live ‘large.’ They host commercially successful art auctions and seriously concep­tual art exhibitions. They almost always publish a catalogue for every exhibition and away from the usual politics; they are miles ahead of us.

It was also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit Nigeria; land of Nollywood and Afri­can football. On my return, I’ve changed my stereotype notion of 9jaans being dodgy and Nigeria being unsafe and unstable politically, regardless of their president disap­pearing while I was there.

Ogonga Thom