How to Use Cultural Exchange Programs to Inspire the Next Generation


Amoako Boafo, the rising star of African art, emphasizes the increasing significance of Accra, the Ghanaian capital, as a prominent global art hub. Boafo made a brief return to his hometown during Accra Cultural Week (- September), a collection of cultural activities encompassing exhibitions, discussions, and visits to studios. This event attracted a diverse range of attendees including artists, collectors, gallery owners, and journalists from Europe, the US, and Africa. Although Boafo has experienced a remarkable career trajectory thus far, having exhibited with Gagosian and sold artworks to Jeff Bezos, the events throughout the week showcased a profound sense of importance and accomplishment.

The artists belonging to the African diaspora demonstrate a sense of camaraderie as they actively strive to impart their experiences and good fortunes to the next generation of talented individuals. At the age of , and having resided in Vienna for several years, Boafo has achieved an impressive auction record, with his figurative paintings depicting Black subjects, often created through the use of his fingertips, fetching prices exceeding $ million. Currently, in Accra, he presents a self-portrait as part of the exhibition In and Out of Time (running until December th), which serves as the highlight of the week’s planned events and delves into African cultural concepts concerning non-linear time.

spoke highly of the residency program offered by Gideon Appah at his purpose-built art space, dot.ateliers. Appah’s success in the art world has propelled him to make a positive impact on the lives of fellow artists in his community. The provision of valuable resources through his residency holds great significance for him. The thriving Ghanaian art scene also recognizes the importance of residencies, as stated by Gyankroma Akufo-Addo, the chief executive of the Creative Arts Agency. This agency serves as a link between the government and the creative sector, further emphasizing the value of artist residencies in Ghana.

In addition to being the daughter of Ghana’s president since , Nana Akufo-Addo, she expressed that the world of fine art functions as a gatekeeper. She commended Amoako for welcoming new artists into his residency, creating an environment that fosters growth and encourages emerging talents. Ekow Eshun, who hails from Ghana and previously served as the director of the ICA in London, has curated the exhibition In and Out of Time. Notably, Eshun is also curating another exhibition titled Like Paradise at Claridge’s ArtSpace in London, which will showcase renowned artists including Frank Bowling and Jade.

N and Out of Time also presents artworks by Serge Attukwei Clottey and Gideon Appah, who are contemporaries of Boafo. Similar to Boafo, they possess a considerable global presence. Eshun stated, These artists have not emerged overnight. Despite their youthfulness, they have dedicated years to honing their ss. While previous Ghanaian artists have paved the way, this is the first generation that exhibits such remarkable expertise and ease in their craft. The advent of platforms such as Instagram has leveled the playing field, granting international accessibility to African art.

in Ghana for several years, showcases the rich artistic talents of the country. This annual event provides a platform for artists to display their works and connect with new audiences. It is heartening to see the growing recognition and support for African art globally, as evidenced by the increased attention given to artists like Arthur Timothy. His thought-provoking pieces challenge the historical narrative and representation of Black individuals in European art. Timothy’s journey from Bath to Eshun’s exhibition signifies the significance and impact of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has prompted collectors and galleries to acknowledge and embrace the artistic contributions of the African continent. The exhibition, titled And the Clamour Became a Voice, holds immense importance as it aims to shed light on the often overlooked presence of Black people in Italy during the Renaissance era. Through his vibrant portrayal of African women walking through Florence adorned in traditional fabrics, Timothy pays homage to this underrepresented community.

Learninng Outcome

In conclusion, the exhibition N and Out of Time showcases the incredible talent and global impact of Ghanaian artists Serge Attukwei Clottey and Gideon Appah, alongside Amoako Boafo. These artists have not only dedicated years to perfecting their skills but also represent a new wave of exceptional expertise in their craft. With the help of platforms like Instagram, African art now has a level playing field, allowing for international accessibility and recognition. As we witness the rise of these young artists, it becomes clear that they are shaping the future of Ghanaian art and paving the way for countless aspiring creatives to come.


Hakan Author

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