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First Art Prize Dedicated to Female African Artists Launches Today

The clubby art world hasn’t always been particularly welcoming to African artists, particularly female ones. In an effort to break down those barriers, Accra’s Gallery 1957 has launched the first art prize exclusively for Ghanaian women artists. With a jury of notables, such as writer Afua Hirsch, the prize aims to draw international attention to the incredible diversity of female talent in Ghana. Named after the Ghanaian queen, Yaa Asantewa, the prize launches to coincide with the gallery’s fifth anniversary celebrations, and is open to all female and self-identifying female artists based in Ghana or belonging to the Ghanaian diaspora. The Yaa Asantewaa Art Prize is inspired by a recognition on behalf of Zakhem and his team that Ghanaian female artists are often restricted from being able to dedicate themselves to their practice in the way their male counterparts can, in part because Ghana remains a culture driven by patriarchy.