Henry Akubuiro

From Saturday, March 21- April 4, 2020, the ten finalists of the 2020 edition of Next of Kin Series will showcase their works at Thought Pyramid Art Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos. The grand opening kicks off 4.pm on Saturday. 

In its third edition, Next of Kin Series of art exhibition and competition will be striving to showcase works of future masters whose professional careers do not exceed eight years but possess unique skills and potentials. The Next of Kin Series is organised annually by Thought Pyramid Art Centre.

For the 2020 edition, seasoned artists, like Mr. Abiodun Olaku, Mr. Sam Ovraiti and Mr. Kelani Abass, have been chosen as members of the jurors responsible for picking the 10 finalists.

As usual, the process towards the grand finale always starts from the beginning of the previous year on every October when Call for Entries is announced. Deadline for entries is usually end of December of the previous year. For this year’s edition, entries were received from different media such as paintings, drawings, sculptures (wood carving, metal works, ceramics), photography and installations.

Next of Kin, which is sponsored by AK&Co, Platform Capital and Nigeria Machine, is aimed at promoting the careers of these young artists while fostering the appreciation and enjoyment of contemporary Nigerian art. It is also a window to raise the standard of art practice in Nigeria.

The eventual participating finalist artists for the main exhibition of the 2020 edition were chosen based on six criteria. They include subject matter and content (10 points), creativity and originality (15 points), composition and presentation (15 points), use of material mastery (5 points), aesthetic perception (5 points), and captivating or Wow! Factor (10 points).

For the 2020 edition of Next of Kin, about 363 entries nationwide were received, out of which 26 were disqualified because of irregularity and incomplete submission. The remaining entries were divided into six batches, each containing 60 entries apart from the sixth batch that have only 26 entries.

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“All the works went through screening by the judges in two different stages from which the best 16 made it to the final stage,” said Ovie Omatsola, curator at Thought Pyramid, during a recent press briefing.

“From the selected 16 the three jurors unanimously picked, we arrived at finalists of 10 participating artists for 2020 Next of Kin show, using the aforementioned criteria listed above.”

The ten finalists are Mobo Ogunrosoye, Hassan Abdulazeez, Waheed Ariyo, Odinakachi Okoroafor, Qozeem Abdulrahman, Unyime Edet, Ojo Adewale, Christain Allison, Michael Igwe and Almat Adams.

Omatsola recalled that the Next of Kin exhibition series started in 2017 with the first edition held in 2018. Participating artists for the first edition included Elizabeth Ekpetorson, Oluwole Omofemi, Bertha Onyekachi, Akintomide Aluko, Ikechukwu Nnadi, Fortune Anuforo, Sotonye Jumbo, Osifeso Ezekiel, Anthonia Nneji and Sidney Osioh.

The second edition took place in 2019, featuring Ikechukwu Ezeigwe, Olukotun Opeyemi, Odibo Odiabhehor, Kareem Tobiloba, Ifeanyi Ugwoke, Segun Fagorusi, Anedu Edozie, Badru Taofeek, Agbaje Julius and Alogi John.

Thought Pyramid Art Centre was established to meet the need for the art to be professionally housed and managed with the needed expertise as done in the developed world.

“If you visit a gallery outside of Nigeria, you will attest to the fact that a gallery is where art finds its bearing, and the artist bears his or her muse,” said management of the gallery.

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