ART X Lagos: A Preview of West Africa's Newest Contemporary African Art Fair

ART X Lagos: A Preview of West Africa's Newest Contemporary African Art Fair

ART X Lagos, the next best art fair to land in Lagos launches Nov. 4—check out Okayafrica's preview of what to expect during the 3-day event.

The organizers behind West Africa’s newest art fair are setting the bar pretty high, while making an art lover's dream come true. In its inaugural edition, ART X Lagos will feature over 60 artists spanning 10 countries, and will showcase 30 exhibitions from Nov. 4 to Nov. 6 at The Civic Centre.

The three-day event has something for everyone, from exhibitions by artists from Nigeria, the continent and the diaspora, art talks with a host of Nigeria’s most influential gallerists and curators, to live performances by visual artists and illustrators.

ART X Lagos hopes to magnify the patronage of artists on the continent as well as inspire a crop of young artists—and the latter has already begun before the fair with the #ARTXPrize. The social media competition encouraged young, Lagos-based artists to submit their art via Instagram for a chance to showcase their work at the upcoming fair.

“Art fairs are a really fun place to discover new art and it’s nice to have something like that in Nigeria,” Ima Mfon, #ArtXPrize finalist and photographer, says.

“I think ArtX will be a good avenue to introduce the world to Nigerian art and also introduce Nigeria to international art. A lot of Nigerians buy Nigerian art, but it’s also important to know what’s going on in other places.”

ART X Lagos’ Intersections performance installation is another event to look forward to during the fair. The live art and sound performance will bring together some of country’s most prolific visual artists and a host of musical artists. Curated by A Whitespace Creative Agency and Fatherland Media, the performance will be a part of ART X Lagos’s ART X Live exhibition and will feature artists including visual artist, Tunde Alara, and singer-songwriter, Falana.

For attendees more interested in the Art Talks portion of the fair, the 'Cultural Entrepreneurship and the Rise of Women Leaders' panel is a must visit. The panel will be moderated by ART X Lagos founder, Tokini Peterside. The panelists include Reni Folawiyo, founder of the Lagos luxury concept store, Alara, Mo Abudu, founder of Ebony Life TV and Bolanle Austen Peters, founder of Terra Kulture, a cultural center located in Lagos. The panel will discuss the rise of women leaders in Nigeria’s burgeoning art and media industries.

Amongst the many exhibitions featured at the fair, Nigerian fashion designer Maki Oh will team up with photographer Lakin Ogunbanwo for an exhibition that explores the infamous Nigerian term "ehn." Through mixed media and photography, the artists will explore the term, which is known to take on a different meaning depending on its inflection and contextual use.

“The ehn that we’ve chosen to explore is “ehn?” the question,” Ogunbanwo says.

An exhibition honoring the work of famed Nigerian photographer J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere will also be featured at the fair. Curated by ART X Lagos' artistic director, Bisi Silva, the exhibition will introduce visitors to a powerful and diverse archive of Ojeikere’s photographs spanning more than six decades of artistic practice.

ART X Lagos is a new art fair created to widen Nigeria's connection to the contemporary art scene across Africa and the world. The three-day affair will run from Friday, Nov. 6, through Sunday, Nov. 8 at The Civic Centre in Victoria Island, Lagos. 

Check out ART X Lagos' website for more information, and be sure to keep up with them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.