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Access Holdings & ART X Collective Launch 2023 Prize for Emerging African Artists

Written by on October 15, 2023

Access Holdings, a trailblazing financial institution, and ART X Collective, a leading cultural enterprise, have announced the commencement of the highly anticipated entry call for the Access ART X Prize 2023.

ART X Collective and Access Holdings are empowering emerging artists with the 2023 Access ART X Prize. Applications are open from September 20 to October 18, 2023, and can be submitted exclusively at ARTXLAGOS.COM/PRIZE. Two outstanding talents will be selected to receive a $10,000 grant towards an exhibition at ART X Lagos 2024.

Aimed at fostering creativity and elevating emerging talent across Africa, the transformative opportunity will see the Nigerian winner embark on a 3-month residency at Gasworks, London, while the African/Diasporan winner will participate in a 3-month residency at Yinka Shonibare’s GAS Foundation in Lagos. Both recipients will also receive personalised mentorship support, a hallmark of the partners’ shared commitment to nurturing artistic growth and providing an invaluable opportunity for cultural exchange.

Speaking on the initiative’s essence, Herbert Wigwe, Group Managing Director of Access Holdings, said,

Access Holdings is proud to, once again, champion the Access ART X Prize, a beacon of support for emerging African artists. We believe in the transformative power of art to shape culture, foster diversity, drive meaningful change, and influence the global perception of our continent.

The Access ART X Prize is, however, not just about recognising talent; it is about empowering the next generation of African artists to tell their stories and inspire the world. Through this initiative, we reaffirm our commitment to nurturing creativity and driving the growth of the African art industry, fostering a brighter, more inclusive future for all, Wigwe added.

Since its launch in 2016, the Access ART X Prize has supported early-career artists, providing them with diverse opportunities to showcase their talents. In a groundbreaking move last year, the prize expanded its reach to include early-career artists from across the African continent and its diaspora.

The Access ART X Prize expanded its reach to include early-career artists from across the African continent and its diaspora in 2022, reflecting a deep commitment to inclusivity and diversity within the African art scene. The result was a celebration of remarkable talent, with Dafe Oboro (Nigerian Prize-winner) and Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński (Africa/Diaspora Prize-winner) awarded the prestigious prize.

The rigorous evaluation process for submissions by early-career artists is overseen by a distinguished panel of renowned artists and cultural practitioners. These experts will be assessing creativity, originality, and technical skills with meticulous care, ensuring that the most exceptional talents rise to the top.

The Access ART X Prize 2023 will be judged by an esteemed jury which includes Babajide Adeniyi-Jones (Photographer), Barthélémy Toguo (Artist), Daudi Karungi (Founder, Afriart Gallery), Emeka Ogboh (Artist), Gabi Ngcobo (Artist and Curatorial Director, University of Pretoria), and Yesomi Umolu (Director of Curatorial Affairs and Public Practice, Serpentine Galleries). The curator of the 2023 edition is the highly regarded Jumoke Sanwo.

Tokini Peterside-Schwebig, Founder and CEO of ART X Collective said:

“We are honoured to have such a diverse and experienced jury for the Access ART X Prize 2023. Their expertise and perspectives will ensure a fair and comprehensive evaluation of the submissions, ultimately bolstering this exceptional platform for early-career artists to showcase their work and engage in meaningful dialogue with the global art community.

We are proud of our contribution to the visual art landscape across Nigeria, Africa and the Diaspora, over the past seven years, and remain steadfast in our commitment to propel our artists forward, to live out their potential as narrative changemakers for our continent and for its culture. Through the creation and production of initiatives such as the Access ART X Prize, and our flagship art fair, ART X Lagos, our organisation seeks consistently to champion the redefinition of the narrative about our continent, and its people.

We would like to thank Access Holdings, which has consistently stood with us as we have strived to promote and elevate the next generation of African artists. Their commitment to fostering creativity and providing pivotal opportunities for artists is invaluable in driving the growth and development of the African art industry.”

Visit ARTXLAGOS.COM/PRIZE to learn more about the Access ART X Prize

About Access Holdings
Access Holdings Plc is a leading multinational financial services group that offers commercial banking, lending, payment, insurance, and asset management services. Headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, Access Holdings operates through a network of more than 700 branches and service outlets, spanning three continents, 19 countries, and 60+ million customers.

Access transitioned into a holding company to drive rapid growth and become a full-scale ecosystem player offering interconnected services across customer needs. Established in 2022, Access Holdings Plc consists of the Access Bank Group; Access Pensions; a Payment and Switching Services Company; a Digital Lending Company, and an Insurance Brokerage Company.

The banking vertical serves its various markets through four business segments: Retail, Business, Commercial and Corporate, and has enjoyed what is arguably Africa’s most successful banking growth trajectory in the last eighteen years, becoming one of Africa’s largest retail banks by customer base and Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest bank by total assets.
Access Holdings strives to deliver sustainable economic growth that is profitable, environmentally responsible, and socially relevant, helping customers to access more and achieve their dreams.

About ART X Collective
ART X Collective creates platforms and experiences that celebrate, leverage and amplify Africa & culture. Working closely with exceptional creatives and cultural entrepreneurs, the company seeks to develop energised, empowered and evolving identities for Africa through culture, taking inspiration from its homes – Lagos, Nigeria and Africa.

The company was created by Tokini Peterside-Schwebig and its flagship platforms include: ART X Lagos – the leading international art fair in West Africa; the ART X Prize – an annual award for emerging artists in Africa and its Diaspora; and ART X Live! – a dynamic launchpad and accelerator for Africa’s fastest-rising musicians and visual


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