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Access Bank pledges continued support for African artists via Art X prize

Access Bank Group has renewed its commitment to the growth of contemporary art in Nigeria through the sponsorship of Art X Lagos International Fair for the sixth time as a Gold Sponsor. The four-day event took place at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos from November 4 to 7, 2021.

The bank reaffirmed its commitment through its impactful presence at the 2021 edition of the Fair during which the 2019 winner of the Art X Prize funded by Access Bank, Etinosa Yvonne showcased her deeply insightful and thought-provoking project, ‘It’s all in my head.’

The immersive multimedia project, curated through research, conversations and photography layered with text, was embarked upon by the artist in her quest to explore the coping mechanisms of survivors of terrorism, and extreme instances of conflict and cruelty in Nigeria. The exhibition presented the layered portraits as holograms in a bid to make the survivors ‘physically’ present in the space, employing sound to bring their stories to life.

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Beyond providing funding and mentorship for the Art X Prize winner, Access Bank also -showcased its creative spirit through the debut of the ‘ENIYAN’ mask installation at the Fair in collaboration with fast-rising contemporary artist Yusuf Aina.

Speaking on Access Bank’s collaboration with Art X during his speech on the opening night of the fair, group managing director, Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, said Art X has continued to be a platform through which African art is soaring and achieving global recognition. He also pledged the Bank’s continued support toward the empowerment of African artists.

“For us at Access Bank Group, the idea behind collaborating with the Art X Lagos fair was to ensure that we empower African artists with a platform to showcase their works and change the narrative around Nigeria positively. The Access Bank Art X Prize is our own way of providing funding and mentorship for emerging African artists,” he said.

Wigwe expressed immense satisfaction with the exponential growth of the Fair over the years, extending kudos to the founder, Tokini Peterside and her team who made the convergence of the art community possible. He acknowledged that she had performed phenomenally ‘by creating a strong convening platform in Art X.’

In her remarks, Peterside expressed appreciation to the Bank for its good deeds, and for consistently throwing its full weight behind the fair year on year.

“Access Bank’s sponsorship of our fair is a testament to the fact that there is always support from Nigeria and proof of the bank’s belief in our vision.”

Through the collaboration with Art X, Access Bank has brought to the fore its passion for helping Africans tell the African story through creative and innovative ways, in line with the bank’s philosophy to offer ‘More Than Banking’.

Art X Lagos continues online on ARTXLAGOS.COM till November 21.

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