Gallery 1957 calls for art competition entries

BY: Gifty Owusu-Amoah
Gallery 1957 calls for art competition entries
Maame Araba Baboa Opoku won the maiden edition

GALLERY 1957, an arts studio located at Kempinski Hotel in Accra is giving young Ghanaian female artists living in Ghana and the diaspora, the chance to be mentored through its Yaa Asantewaa Women’s Prize Art competition.

Thus, Gallery 1957 is calling for entries from applicants for this year’s competition geared at enriching their commitment of supporting and promoting emerging and established female artists across Ghana and the diaspora.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday, August 31 and a winner will be announced this year in September.

Named after the famous queen Yaa Asantewaa of the Asante tribe, the Yaa Asantewaa Women’s Prize Art was introduced last year to reward the heroic works of female artists.

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Maame Araba Baboa Opoku won the maiden ultimate prize. Her work highlighted water scarcity and rationing that prevail in Accra.

In her artistic knowledge, she mirrors the relevance of water, as she washes canvases with flowing brush strokes and watery acrylic paint.

The first runner-up was textile artist, Anya Paintsil. Through her work, which includes embroidery and tapestry-making, Paintsil explored topics such as gender and race, informed by the artist’s experiences growing up in North Wales in a mixed-race family.

Multimedia artist, Theresa Ankoma came third. She used a variety of materials and methods such as weaving, to explore how everyday objects coexist within a physical space with seen and unseen collaborators.

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This year’s winners will be selected by a jury of international experts made up of Azu Nwagbogu, Curator, Founder and Director of African Artists' Foundation; Ibrahim Mahama, Artist, Founder of the SCCA, and Artistic Director of the 35th Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts (2023); Joana Choumali, Visual Artist; Katherine Finerty, Curator, Writer, and Art Historian; Natasha Becker, Curator and Writer; and Tokini Peterside-Schwebig, Founder of Art X Lagos.

For this year, the first prize winner will receive an artist residency and exhibition at Gallery 1957, as well as GHc40,000. The first runner-up gets GHc20,000 and second runner-up receives GHc15,000.

According to Marwan Zakhem, Founder of Gallery 1957, “Listening and working closely with our local community, we have identified a need to support particularly women artists in Ghana.

“In creating The Yaa Asantewaa Art Prize, we hope to offer a way to address the lack of existing support for women and identifying women artists in the country, and the diaspora.

“Beyond the financial support, the goal is to give participating shortlisted artists a platform for their work, and exposure worldwide", Marwan Zakhem of Gallery 1957 added.