After four successful seasons in Ghana, the Kuenyehia Prize for Contemporary Art has ambitiously ventured further afield with more than 250 applications received this year from 14 West African countries: namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
2020 – a symbolic year for both the prize and the world in general – also sees an increase in prize money and benefits valued at ten thousand dollars ($ 10,000) and including cash, art tools, and capacity development under the Creative Accelerator Program.
Since its maiden edition in 2015, the Kuenyehia Prize has accelerated the careers of four winners and over 35 shortlisted artists, offering unique opportunities and facilitating financial security so that winners can focus on their practice.
The Kuenyehia Trust for Contemporary Art (The Trust) is a not-for-profit organisation that was established by Elikem Nutifafa Kuenyehia in 2013 to support emerging and mid-career African visual artists, advance contemporary African art, promote a vibrant market for African art within the continent and internationally, and encourage literacy in art.
The Kuenyehia Prize for Contemporary Art is the flagship of the Trust. Arguably the first recognised and biggest art prize in Ghana, it was established out of a desire to support emerging and mid-career African artists and it identifies, rewards and helps develop outstanding artists between the ages of 25 and 40..
The 2020 shortlisted artists of the Kuenyehia Prize for Contemporary Art are:
J. Jimas Ametonou (Benin)
Ezan Frank Kouassi (Côte d’Ivoire)
Tchinan Cédric Kouassi (Côte d’Ivoire)
Lois Arde-Acquah (Ghana)
Naki Narh (Ghana)
Nana Poku Cheremeh (Ghana)
Kelvin Aniapam (Ghana)
Khalifa Ndiaye (Senegal)
Chinwe Chigbu (Nigeria)
Joseph Obanubi (Nigeria)
Robert Matuluko (Nigeria)
Khadim Gueye Bamba (Senegal)
The winner and runners-up will be announced on Thursday, 17th December 2020 alongside the inauguration of an exhibition of works of shortlisted artists.