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Collecting With Purpose – How Nish McCree is Advancing the Cause of African Art

The world is filled with all manner of collectors, but some of the finest are those that positively advance the sphere in which they collect. In the world of African art, Accra-based Nish McCree takes an active role as an ardent advocate and educator for artists. She has amassed a collection of more than 80 pieces that includes figurative painting, portraits, collages, masks and abstract works from emerging and mid-market African artists. Her collection is currently housed at her home in Accra and its spirit also lives virtually on her newly launched digital platform, the Cowrie Culture, where McCree provides education and professional development support to artists, collectors and cultural workers in the arts in Africa. In this way, the focus of McCree’s collection is not an -ism, a particular trope or a theme, but rather action – the doing, the advocacy, the supporting that comes with acquiring an artwork. By basing herself and building her collection in Ghana, McCree wanted to translate the tradition of collecting into an act of engagement and show what contemporary art means for a society.