In every event, there is always something new and refreshing to offer the audience. For this year’s edition of Art X Lagos, scheduled to take place between November 2 and 4, the founder, Ms Tokini Peterside, promises an expanded programme that will involve many artists from different parts of Africa.
During a briefing held in Lagos a few days ago, Peterside announced that renowned artists and galleries from East Africa, specifically from Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda, were expected to attend the three-day art fair for the first time in Nigeria.
Add the anticipated celebration of Shonibare to other segments of the fair, such as Art X Talks, featuring a series of engaging lectures and discussions by major stakeholders in Africa’s art economy, and Art X Live, an interactive project expected to bring in a lot of diversity, music and performances, you have a bumper package that most guests and participants will not forget in a hurry.
In keeping with the revolutionary spirit, which Art X Lagos has ignited in the art community, Peterside also declared that art students would no longer be required to pay the gate fee of N2,000 to attend the fair. She said, “Students will attend the fair free-of-charge. They just have to bring their ID cards along to the venue. This is because the student population is very important to us. But I must say something about the tickets.
“You have noticed that we said a ticket will cost N2,000. For big art fairs around the world, you pay about 50 dollars, which is around N15,000. That is why we have so many corporate sponsors supporting us to ensure that this fair continues to be accessible.
“Yes, we are a fair that wants collectors who can afford them to come and buy art works, but we also want the young people to see the works and be inspired. The many art students who don’t have an opportunity in Nigeria today to see the art works only encounter them on the Internet.
“We almost play the role of an art museum sometimes, which is not what it should be. So we are mindful of the fact that until Nigeria builds an art museum and until there are opportunities for young people to engage with art, we have to play that role. This is why we are organising Art X Lagos.”
She attributed the success of Art X Lagos since its inception to a certain formular that her team had been building over the years. The formular, she noted, was the real secret behind the smooth delivery of past editions of the fair. “There is a secret ingredient, but we haven’t identified it yet. All we know is that whatever we try to execute, we do the best of our ability. Over the years, we have been building a team of phenomenal men and women who are working on this project. “We bring together the best of the best and people who are committed to our vision. I would say that it is the quest and the drive for excellence. We want to show that a truly world class platform can be developed by Nigerians and for Nigerians,” she said.