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On the way to stardom

Eine Gruppe von Menschen steht verteilt in einem Raum. Im Hintergrund eine Greenbox, an der Decke hängen Scheinwerfer, um sie herum sind Bilder auf Staffeleien aufgestellt.
In early May, the participants' works were exhibited under the title "Made in Nigeria" at the Discovery Museum in Abuja. © Emmanuel Rotiba

On the way to stardom

Thirty artists from the fields of painting and photography were selected for the “Made-In-Nigeria Art Masterclass” in order to learn and prove their skills in an exchange with art experts. The master class was organised by the Nigerian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (NGC) in cooperation with the Nike Art Gallery, one of the largest galleries in West Africa. However, the five-day workshop was not only about artistic work, but also about the question: How do I become more visible on the world market?

Auf einer Leinwand sind dicke, quadratische Akrylkleckse aufgetragen, die die Silhouette eines Menschen erkennen lassen.
"Venture" is the name of the work (acrylic on canvas, 75cm x 60cm) by Bolaji Ogunwo. © Emmanuel Rotiba

A first milestone in terms of visibility

In early May, the participants’ works were exhibited under the title “Made in Nigeria” at the Discovery Museum in Abuja. The opening event was attended by more than a thousand visitors, including the Deputy Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Nigeria, Martin Huth. The works will now be on display again in mid-May, this time at the country office of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in the Nigerian capital.

The exhibition “shows yet another way of promoting employment in Nigeria through visual art,” emphasizes Sandra Vermuijten, director of the NGC. According to experts, Nigeria has some of the best-known and most iconic artists on the international art market in recent years, including Yinka Shonibare and Njideka Akunyili Crosby. In addition, a new generation of young Nigerian artists is emerging.

The exhibitions were preceded by five intensive working days. Under the guidance of experienced Nigerian artists, the participants learned more about techniques and the presentation of their artworks. Participants were also taught how to improve their visibility as artists in the global marketplace through digital marketing. They also inspired each other. The Masterclass was completely free of charge for all participants. “It was the first time in my life as an artist to work in a peaceful and chilled environment”, reports participant Obiora.

Auf der Leinwand ist ein juges Kind mit schwarzen Haaren zu sehen. Es trägt ein orangefarbenes T-Shirt, auf dem eine kleine Deutschland-Flagge zu sehen ist. Auf dem Kopf des Kindes sitzt ein Schmetterling.
Her Dream" (charcoal & acrylic on canvas, 60cm x 75cm) is the name of the work by Ogunmolawa Olubukola John. © Emmanuel Rotiba

A big win for all

A first master class had already been held in Nigeria's economic metropolis Lagos in 2021. The positive response had prompted a new round in 2022. The participants of the most recent course look back enthusiastically: “The program has been educative, interactive, inspiring and mind-blowing. I have been to some art workshops but I have not seen any as amazing as this one”, recounts participant Gloria. And participant Yetonyon states, “It was a process capable of elevating an artist from scratch to stardom.” The works that have been created are for sale and may actually help one or another rise to fame.

Here you can find the catalog with all the works.

You can find the Instagram channel of Made In Nigeria here.

As of: 05/2022

The program has been educative, interactive, inspiring and mind-blowing.
Gloria

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