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How an Art Icon Wants to Revitalize Nigeria’s Creative Ecosystem with a Residency for Artists

Through his establishment of the Guest Artists Space Foundation, acclaimed artist Yinka Shonibare is creating a residency program to cultivate the next generation of great artists in Nigeria.  With the idea of cultural exchange and exploration of African identities, the foundation will offer three month residencies in new properties in Lagos and Ibeju.  As part of its mission, it aims to afford an infrastructure of support for local creatives, which is currently lacking in Nigeria. The growing global popularity of Nigerian musicians, actors and fine artists, has positioned the nation as the continental hub for creativity and talent. But this is not new. Nigeria has long fostered fine art spaces since the early 20th century. During the 1950s, schools of art such as the Zaria Rebels, Osogbo School and Nsukka School, all challenged and subverted European modernist styles and conventions, by adopting visual cues rooted in Igbo and Yoruba traditions.