Submissions Open to Ghanaian Women Artists for the 2023 Yaa Asantewaa Art Prize

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Are you a Ghanaian woman or self-identifying woman artist living in Ghana or its diaspora? Do you want to showcase your work to a global audience and win a cash prize, an artist residency and a solo exhibition? If yes, then you should apply for the Yaa Asantewaa Art Prize, the first ever dedicated award for female African artists living and working in Africa.

What is the Yaa Asantewaa Art Prize?

The Yaa Asantewaa Art Prize is named after the prominent Ghanaian queen who led a rebellion against British colonialism in 1900. The prize was launched by Gallery 1957, a leading contemporary art gallery based in Accra, to celebrate its 5th anniversary and to support and promote emerging and established artists across Ghana and the diaspora.

The prize is open exclusively to Ghanaian women artists either living in Ghana or across its diaspora.

The winner of the 2022 Yaa Asantewaa Art Prize is Priscilla Kennedy, while multidisciplinary artist Elisabeth Efua Sutherland and painter Naomi Amevinya as first and second runner up respectively.

The prize will award GH₵40,000 (about $7,000) alongside an artist residency and exhibition at Gallery 1957 in 2023, to one winner. A second and third prize of GH₵20,000 (about $3,500) and GH₵15,000 (about $2,600) will be offered to runners up.

The winner will be chosen by a jury of international experts including artists, curators, and arts writers. The jurors for the 2021 prize are:

  • Erin Christovale (@erinzulie) Film programmer and curator at the Hammer Museum
  • Ekow Eshun (@ekoweshun) Writer and curator
  • N’Goné Fall (@panafricandkr) Independent curator and cultural policy consultant
  • Katherine Finerty (@katherinefinerty) Curator, Art Historian and Writer
  • Ibrahim Mahama (@ibrahimmahama3) Artist, Founder of the SCCA, Nkrumah Volini and Red Clay
  • Azu Nwagbogu (@azubogu) Curator, and Founder and director of African Artists’ Foundation

Why apply for the Yaa Asantewaa Art Prize?

The Yaa Asantewaa Art Prize is a unique opportunity for Ghanaian women artists to gain recognition and exposure for their work. The prize aims to address the lack of existing support for women and women identifying artists in the country, and its diaspora. Beyond the financial support, the goal is to give participating shortlisted artists a platform for their work, and exposure worldwide.

Marwan Zakhem, Founder of Gallery 1957, commented: ‘Listening and working closely to 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 in which to address this need. Beyond the financial support, the goal is to give participating shortlisted artists a platform for their work, and exposure worldwide.’

A previous prize judge Afua Hirsch, commented: ‘Ghana has a remarkable history of artistic genius, but there is still so much to do to centre Ghanaian creatives and their work so that their contribution is recognised and their future supported. It’s a real honour to be part of this project to particularly showcase women artists in Ghana. I’m looking forward to working with Gallery 1957 in its important work of supporting Ghana’s richly diverse and collaborative arts scene.’

How to apply for the Yaa Asantewaa Art Prize?

The deadline for applications is 31st July with winners announced in September. The Yaa Asantewaa Art Prize is open to all women and self-identifying women artists, based in Ghana and the Ghanaian diaspora.

All applicants must send through an artist statement and biography as well as up to six accompanying samples of their work to:

Don’t miss this chance to showcase your talent and creativity! Apply now and spread the word!

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