ART X Lagos – West Africa’s 1st International Art Fair

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ART X Lagos is an international art fair launched by Tokini Peterside in 2016 to showcase African art at its best and most innovative. Every year since its debut, the fair has drawn over 30,000 art lovers, from connoisseurs and critics to collectors and curators, going a long way in establishing Lagos as a cultural hub.

ART X Prize was also launched in 2016 to support emerging artists by providing funding and mentoring support that could take them to the international stage. There is also ART X Talks with artists, filmmakers, designers, curators, collectors, art historians, and anthropologists, who explore a range of themes.

Art X Lagos features a music night named ART X Live as well! Four editions of the 3-day affair have been held so far, each more successful than the last. The fifth one will be held in November 2020.

The Beginning 

Tokini Peterside is a Nigerian entrepreneur who has become an influential figure in the Nigerian art scene through her passion for the arts as a force for social good. After getting a Law degree from the London School of Economics and an MBA from Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires, she became the Head of Marketing at Moët Hennessy, which specialized in luxury goods.

Her appreciation for Nigeria and the arts led her to launch TP-Collective and ART X Lagos. Now, she is ensuring that future artists are representing Nigeria as cultural ambassadors.

You might also be interested to read: Nigerian Artist Adeyemi Emmanuel Turns Plastic Waste into Fashionable Bags

Over the Years

In the first ART X Lagos, held in November 2016, 60 artists were featured, notable among them are South African artist William Kentridge, Cameroonian painter Bathelemy Togou, Nigerian visual artist Victor Ehikhamenor, Ghanian artist Owusu Ankomah, and Ghanian scultop El Anatsui. 5000 visitors came, and  Patrick Akpojotor won.

The second edition, held in November 2017, attracted nearly twice as many visitors. Notable artists included South African artist Nandipha Mntambo, Cameroonian visual artist Boris Nzebo, Nigerian drummer Babatunde Olatunji, Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu, and more. Habeeb Andu won.

In 2018, the third edition featured Kenyan, Ugandan, and Ethiopian artists. Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola won.

The 2019 Fair 

It was the fourth edition that was the most successful, featuring over 90 artists from across the world, such as Nigerian artist Yusuf Grillo, Ghanian artist Ablade Glober, and South African artist Lady Skollie. Etinosa Yvonnne won. We can only imagine what the fifth edition has in store! So far, the art has been brilliantly bold, colorful, and abstract!

Final Thoughts

Why should Lagos, Nigeria be the perfect destination for an art fair? Well, for one, it is one of the largest and most crowded cities in Africa, heavily populated by young people who have created a vibrant street scene even amidst the various crises that the country faces. They need and deserve the experiences and exposure that Art X Lagos provides. The world also needs and deserves to see African art celebrated, and Art X Lagos is contributing to the increase in both local and international demand for them.

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