By Henry Akubuiro 

The inaugural edition of NXT.Art Fair will draw artists and galleries from Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, the US, and beyond. Organised by Africa NXT, the international fair is dedicated to new innovators and focuses on contemporary aspirations and future realities. 

The annual NXT.ART Fair will kick off on February 27 and end on March 4, 2022, at Landmark Event Centre, Lekki, Lagos,  Nigeria. 

Speaking at the recent  preview in Lagos, Ugonna Ibe-Ejiogu, the fair director, said, “The NXT.ART space will showcase contemporary art from galleries in Africa and the African Diaspora, designed to focus on the distinctive and connective themes in Black culture.

“NXT.ART has partnered with African Digital Art to host a Digital Gallery co-curated by Ugonna Ibe-Ejiogu & Somi Nwandu.”

Ibe-Ejiogu, who founded the Yenwa Gallery, explained that the fair would include a curated section themed “Here & There,” predicated on contemplating present dreams and future realities.

She said, “’Here & There’ is then, now and everywhen. A journey of reimagined space — physical, psychological and conceptual. It considers this moment and explores a future experience for Africa and her Diaspora.” 

The NXT. ART 5-day experience also includes a gathering tagged “Curated Convos”, featuring local and international artists, curators, collectors and investors. 

In showcasing a fair of rare standard and quality in Lagos, NXT.ART’s Advisory and Selection Committee has been carefully chosen to comprise prominent art collectors and curators in Africa and the Diaspora, who screened and selected the galleries being featured in the fair. 

The Advisory and Selection Committee include: 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). 

Others include Jepchumba, Founder, African Digital Art (Kenya); Ifeyinwa Ighodalo: CEO & Founder DOII Designs – (Nigeria); Olivia AnanI: Co-Director of the Africa + Modern and Contemporary Art Department Piasa (France); and Ifeyinwa Momah, Lawyer & Member Society for Art Collection (Nigeria).

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Confirmed participating art galleries include Gallery at the Landmark (GATLDMK), (Lagos), which will be presenting works by Isaac Emokpae and  Ighiwiyisi Jacobs; June Creative Art Advisory (JCAA), Lagos, which will be presenting works by

Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu, 

Laja Oladotun and James George, Joseph Ogbeide and Musa Ganiyy; Forme Femine (Berlin), which will be presenting works by Ebuka Pascal Agudiegwu, Chinwe Chigbu and Yewande Oseni. 

Others are ADA NFT Gallery (USA), which will be presenting works by Afroscope (Ghana), Ike Slimster (Nigeria, USA), Martin Ndere (Kenya), Qaadira Ihsaan (USA), Kevin Karasha (Kenya), MahlÔt Sansosa (USA), Farhana Jacobs (South Africa), Hakeem Adam (Ghana) and Omololu Johnson Ayodeji (Nigeria). 

NXT.ART Fair 2022 will also feature a curated conversation with panelists, including but not limited to: Professor Peju Layiwola; Artist

Olivia Anani; Co-Director of the Africa + Modern and Contemporary Art Department Piasa (France), Ayodeji Rotinwa; Writer Niyi Okeowo; Artis tJepchumba; Founder, African Digital Art Oyindamola Fakeye; Creative Director CCA Lagos, Tony Agbapuonwu; Curator

Fisayo Bakare; Curator.

While NXT.ART Fair welcomes the general public to an exciting experience in art appreciation, organisers encourage participants who wish to access the fair to obtain tickets on-site. 

Founded by Ngozi Odita,  AfricaNXT has been in the works for 10 years. This debut edition will provide a platform keenly focused on the continent, serving a global community eager to connect to Africa from all verticals. It promises to be a week of high-level conversations, one-of-a-kind moments and game-changing connections.

Having been a part of the local tech and business ecosystem for 10 years, NXT.ART seeks to leverage accumulated  learnings and insights to ensure it is providing capacity and creating an enabling environment that fosters collaboration and innovation for decades to come.

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