The Kuenyehia Trust for Contemporary Art with was set up in 2014 by Elikem Nutifafa Kuenyehia to promote and advance contemporary art with particular emphasis on contemporary art of Ghanaian and African origin.
What will be the focus of your stand at FNB JoburgArtFair and how do you aim to use it as a ‘platform’ for artists?
To showcase the works of our artists to a wider audience and give them the necessary exposure to draw traction to their artistic practice and place their works on the international art market.
What role does your organisation play as a ‘platform’ for artists? What positive outcomes have you seen from your current projects?
Elikem Nutifafa Kuenyehia founded the Kuenyehia Prize for Contemporary Ghanaian Art, which is managed by the Trust. The prize is open to emerging and mid-career Ghanaian contemporary artists between the ages of 25 and 40. Currently in its fourth season, The Kuenyehia Prize will become a pan-African art prize from 2020. Similar to what the Turner Prize has done in the UK, the Kuenyehia Prize seeks to raise the bar for Ghanaian and African art. A major focus of the prize is the development and continental and international exposure of shortlisted artists hence the participation in fairs such as the FNB JoburgArtFair and the Neighbour Next Door exhibition at Palacio del Infantado, Guadalajara, Spain. Our artists have received mentoring and coaching on critical areas such as intellectual property, personal branding and art as a business. The Trust again convenes an annual thought leadership seminar that interrogates issues concerning the arts with the intention to re-focus attention on art in policy and practice in Ghana. This year’s theme, ‘The Responsibility of the African Artist in Challenging African Stereotypes’ seeks to question the role of African artists in unconsciously and consciously perpetuating the stereotypes of Africa and Africans. Winners of the Kuenyehia Prize become de-facto panellists of the Trust’s thought leadership seminar. This is to challenge them to continue questioning and broadening their perspectives.
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s FNB JoburgArtFair?
For this year’s FNB JoburgArtFair, we look forward to engaging with the galleries and the visitors, exposing them to curated works of selected Ghanaian artists from the Kuenyehia Prize shortlists. We would also be looking forward to engaging in conversations with the various art platforms to enquire about possible collaborations.
Have a look at the FNB JoburgArtFair Platforms here:Friends of the Johannesburg Art Gallery The Market Photo Workshop Artist Proof Studio The Bag Factory Artists’ Studios NWU Gallery M Studio Community SA Mint Kuenyehia Trust For Contemporary Art Orange Babies