In partnership with AfricaNXT, ADA hosted a traditional and digital art gallery- NXT ART, co-curated by Ugonna Ibe-Ejiogu, curator, and Somi Nwandu, artist and curator and produced by Jepchumba. NXT.ART showcased contemporary art from galleries in Africa and the African Diaspora, designed to focus on the distinctive and connective themes in Black culture. The theme included a curated section themed “Here & There,” which was predicated on contemplating present dreams and future realities. According to Ugonna, ’Here & There’ is then, now, and everywhere. A journey of reimagined space — physical, psychological, and conceptual. The exhibition provided a platform to consider this moment and explore a future experience for Africa and its diaspora.
The NXT ART organizers carefully selected the Advisory and Selection Committee, composed of prominent art collectors and curators in Africa and the Diaspora, to screen and select the galleries to be represented at the exhibition. The exhibition showcased diverse and incredible pieces, and the public’s engagement was phenomenal.
The Advisory and Selection Committee included Jess Castellotte, Director, Yemisi Shyllon Museum of African Art (Nigeria); Amy Andrieux, Executive Director, Museum Of Contemporary African Diasporan Art Mocada (United States); Chid Liberty, CEO & Founder Liberty & Justice (Liberia); Solange Farkas, Director & Curator VideoBrasil Cultural Association (Brazil); Somi Nwandu: External Affairs Coordinator Smithsonian Museum of African Art (Dubai), Jepchumba, Founder, African Digital Art (Kenya); Ifeyinwa Ighodalo: CEO & Founder DOII Designs (Nigeria); Olivia Anani: Co-Director of Africa + Modern and Contemporary Art Department Piasa (France); and Ifeyinwa Momah, Lawyer & Member Society for Art Collection (Nigeria).
The exhibition hosted galleries including the Gallery at the Landmark (Lagos), which presented works by Isaac Emokpae and Ighiwiyisi Jacobs; June Creative Art Advisory (JCAA), Lagos, which presented works by Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu, Laja Oladotun, and James George, Joseph Ogbeide and Musa Ganiyy; and Forme Femine (Berlin), which presented works by Ebuka Pascal Agudiegwu, Chinwe Chigbu, and Yewande Oseni. ADA also presented digital works by Afroscope (Ghana), Ike Slimster (Nigeria, USA), Qaadira Ihsaan (USA), Kevin Karasha (Kenya), Farhana Jacobs (South Africa), Hakeem Adam (Ghana), and Omololu Johnson Ayodeji (Nigeria), and an installation by MahlÔt Sansosa (USA).
NXT ART also featured curated conversations with panelists, including but not limited to Professor Peju Layiwola (Artist), Olivia Anani (Co-Director, Africa + Modern and Contemporary Art Department Piasa, France) Ayodeji Rotinwa (Writer), Niyi Okeowo (Artist), Oyindamola Fakeye (Creative Director, CCA, Lagos), Fisayo Bakare (Curator), and Tokini Peterside (Founder, ART X Collective). The panels discussed topics ranging from Re-imagining New Perspectives in Contemporary Art, Women in Art, How Art Helps Generate Social Identity, New Culture, & Build a Nation, The Structure of the African Art Ecosystem Before 2010, and Now, to The Future of Art and Technology.
The fair presented a rare display of black creativity at its best, symbolizing the intersection between art and technology and engaging everyone from industry experts to novices.