ART X Lagos, West Africa’s foremost international art fair, in conjunction with Access Bank, proudly announced Bolatito Aderemi- Ibitola as the winner of the 2018 edition of the ‘ART X Prize with Access’ which was instituted to recognise and support the best of emerging Nigerian visual art talent.
Bolatito was chosen from a pool of several dozen applicants by a jury of 5 renowned artists comprising pioneering artist, Professor Bruce Onobrakpeya; Turner Prize nominee Yinka Shonibare MBE; highly regarded visual artist Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Honorary Fellow of the University of the Arts, London Sokari Douglas-Camp; and gallerist and curator Oliver Enwonwu.
Access Bank’s collaboration with ART X Lagos stems from a mandate to support and contribute to the development of the art sector in Nigeria by investing in Nigerian talent. The sponsorship of the ART X Prize with Access is a partnership that will celebrate, empower and provide vital professional development for a new generation of emerging Nigerian talent.
Founder & Director of ART X Lagos, Tokini Peterside, remarked: “The extraordinarily high quality of work we received speaks volumes of the potential of the art sector in Nigeria. We are delighted to have the privilege to support the prizewinner, Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola, at this pivotal stage in her career. With certainty that this will propel her forward towards a successful future within the African and global art industry, we look forward to unveiling Bolatito’s ambitious project at ART X Lagos 2018 in November. The project will introduce Bolatito to our international audience of critics, collectors and curators from renowned institutions around the world. We extend our heartfelt thanks to Access Bank for their support for this initiative and to our stellar jury for their tireless commitment and generousity to this effort.”
Herbert Wigwe, CEO and Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc opines: “At Access Bank, beyond our vast collection of established artists, we believe that we are also responsible for empowering emerging artists. This is why we continue to support the ART X Prize – to celebrate the ingenuity of Nigeria’s emerging art talent. I can see the recipient of the ART X Prize with Access being the next great artist of our time, endowing us with the potential and the privilege to shape the most relevant art that will come out of the African continent.”
Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola emerged as the winner of the Prize, after live presentations to the jury members, alongside a shortlist that also included two other artists – Ayo Akinwande and Williams Chechet as finalists. Bolatito is a trans-disciplinary artist working primarily in time based art, interactivity and performance. She lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria, and earned her Masters in Performance Studies from Tisch School of the Performing Arts, New York University and holds a Bachelors in Communication Arts with a focus in Television/Film Production and a minor in Political Science from Allegheny College.
On the selection process, Professor Bruce Onobrakpeya comments: “The finalists have demonstrated far-sighted maturity in their presentations, in varied media, with demonstrable projects and feasible proposals. ART X Lagos must be congratulated for its professionalism in organising an international jury to deliberate on the ART X Prize with Access.”
Jury-member Yinka Shonibare MBE also commented: “Aderemi-Ibitola, Chechet and Akinwande have all expressed contemporary cultural concerns in Nigeria through their work. All of the finalists are very strong, so you can imagine what an impossible decision it has been for us! I am very proud to have been part of this exciting process.”
Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola will receive invaluable opportunities for networking and mentoring to realize, promote, and contextualize her art project. She will also receive a ₦1million grant towards her project which will be exhibited in a solo presentation at ART X Lagos 2018 from 2nd to 4th November.
ABOUT ART X LAGOS: Launched in 2016, ART X Lagos is West Africa’s foremost international art fair, designed to showcase the best and most innovative contemporary art from the African continent and to widen Nigeria’s connection to the art scene across Africa and internationally. Since its debut, ART X Lagos has welcomed over 15,000 visitors to see the works of Africa’s leading artists. The art fair has since become a cornerstone of the Lagos art calendar, drawing local patrons and a host of international collectors, curators, and critics annually. Through its contribution to the increased visibility of African artists, ART X Lagos aims to reinforce the visual arts as an important component of the creative industry in Nigeria and Africa, thus positioning Lagos as an emergent cultural capital on the continent. You can follow the brand and be part of the Twitter/Instagram conversation, by following @artxlagos and #ArtXLagos.
ABOUT ACCESS BANK: As an institution dedicated to promoting culture in places where it operates, Access Bank offers its employees, clients and the general public, unique opportunities to interact with the works of the ‘Masters’ as well as those emerging artists who are shaping the future of Nigerian creativity. The Bank’s passion for the growth and recognition of Nigeria’s burgeoning art industry is demonstrated by its lead sponsorship of ART X Lagos and the ‘ART X Prize with Access’.
ABOUT THE FINALISTS
Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola is a trans-disciplinary artist working primarily in time based art, interactivity and performance. Along with her artistic practice, Bolatito also works as a devised theatre practitioner, performance studies scholar and teaching artist. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, she immigrated to the United States in 2000. She returned to Nigeria in 2014 where she is now living and working. Bolatito earned her Masters in Performances Studies from Tisch School of Highly Confidential the Performing Arts, New York University and holds a Bachelors in Communication Arts with a focus in Television/Film Production and a minor in Political Science from Allegheny College.
Williams Chechet is a visual artist who was born in Kano, Nigeria. He studied Industrial Design at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. His latest art project, ‘We Are The North’, is a series of beautiful illustrations from Northern Nigeria, influenced by pop art. This series was recently shown at a number of exhibitions: A solo exhibition in collaboration with the Alliance Française Lagos, and exhibitions at MoCADA in Brooklyn, New York; Marrakech Off The Tracks (1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair), Marrakech, Morrocco; and Africa Is/In The Future, in Brussels, Belgium. Williams has also created murals for MTV Base Africa, Hard Rock Cafe, Lagos among others.
Ayo Akinwande is a trained architect, photographer and multi-disciplinary artist. He was a co- curator of the 2017 Lagos Biennial and also a participating artist. Ayo was selected for the 2nd Changjiang International Photography and Video Biennial and was part of the “Chinafrika-under construction” exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Arts, Leipzig. He has exhibited in solo and group shows across Africa and beyond. His works have been featured in leading arts publications such as Art Africa, Dienacht Magazine, PoetsArtists, Contemporary&, The Sole Adventurer, and SomethingWeAfricansGot. He lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria.