Rele Arts Foundation is a non-profit aimed at engaging and driving the practice and reception of contemporary art in Nigeria while exploring the role of art as a tool for social change and positive impact. With the implementation of several art-driven initiatives like The Young Contemporaries, Art Summit and Nigeria in Venice project, the Foundation has been instrumental in driving critical discourse, fostering interdisciplinary exchange between art and technology, and providing opportunities for experimental and collaborative artistic projects. The grant will be instrumental in helping to expand the scope of the Young Contemporaries Program to cater to more artists from other countries in Africa and provide the resources for more intensive programming.
How do you put emerging artists on the global stage and markets while ensuring they have local audiences? Rele Arts Foundation’s Young Contemporaries 2021/2022 programme, which started with a boot camp in Ekiti State, Nigeria, hosted 30 artists for two weeks for mentorship by professional artists, curators and gallerists through extensive portfolio review and critique sessions as well as lectures and seminars.
Six artists from the boot camp were selected for the Young Contemporaries 2022 exhibition and given grants to support their projects. The exhibition opened in Lagos, with over 2,500 people in attendance over the duration for which the exhibition ran. The artists were also able to sell their works, they all sold out, and 100% of the proceeds went to the artists. The online exhibition has audiences from Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, the US and the UK. It had more than 10,000 online engagements.