By Funmilola Olukomaiya
The ART X Lagos fair which started on November 3rd, 2017, at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos experienced a huge turn out of an audience, ranging from students to elites, toddlers and more, who came to experience the works of arts on display at the art fair.
ART X Lagos was first launched in 2016, and the fair prides itself as West Africa’s first international art fair, which is designed to showcase the best and most innovative contemporary art from the African continent and diaspora and to widen Nigeria’s connection to the art scene across Africa and internationally.
ART X Lagos through its contribution to the increased visibility of African artists aims to reinforce the visual arts as an important component of the creative industry in Nigeria and Africa and to position Lagos as an emergent cultural capital on the continent.
The debut edition of ART X Lagos hosted 5,000 visitors at The Civic Centre, who came to see the works of over 65 artists drawn from 10 countries around Africa.
ART X Lagos 2016 featured specially curated projects, as well as a series of interactive audience engagement projects, and a vibrant live performance platform for artists and musicians. It also included robust and lively talks program with over 30 local and international speakers.
Ms Tokini Peterside, the founder and director, ART X Lagos, stated during a press briefing that, “This year’s art fair will include curated projects across performance arts, installation, photography and video art, to create a conversational showpiece for ART X Lagos. ART X which is West Africa’s first international art fair is designed to showcase the best and most innovative contemporary art from the African continent and diaspora, and to widen Nigeria’s connection to the art scene across Africa and internationally.”
This year’s art fair featured over 60 artists representing 15 countries.
The Art exhibition kicked off with the VIP Opening Preview, a special invitation-only preview for VIP guests and collectors which gave access to private preview events, studio visits, exhibition openings and more.
The ART X Lagos fair opening night for VIPs witnessed an array of the cream de la cream of the society, some of which include Minister of Information & Culture, Lai Mohammed, His Highness the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido and a host of other important dignitaries in Nigeria.
The second day of the event was the day of General Opening where the fair was made open to the public. This day witnessed a huge turnout of audience as they had access to the exhibition hall.
Also, the second day of the fair engaged a series of talks/conversations featuring industry experts, on topics pertaining to the evolution of contemporary art in Africa.
The second day of ART X Lagos wound up with the ART X Live session which stimulated the fair with a dynamic live performance by emerging musicians and artists.
Sunday 5th November, the last day of the art fair would end with The Collectors’ Series, a special talks program for collectors and VIP guests of the fair.