The ART X Lagos inaugural edition kicks off this weekend in Lagos, Nigeria from 4 – 6 November and the hype for West Africa’s first ever international art fair is growing.

The three-day art fair will be happening at The Civic Centre, located by the lagoon on Victoria Island. It is a new project of Tokini Peterside – Director and Founder of TP-Collective, a strategy consultancy that develops businesses and projects in the culture, arts and design sectors – plus contemporary African art dynamo and curating legend, Bisi Silva.

Speaking to TRUE Africa ahead of the impending launch, Tokini said:

‘The Nigerian market is ready for an international art fair and has held the status of the second largest art market on the continent for a few years now. Plus, the rise of contemporary African art globally suggests that the world could accommodate a third art fair on the African continent (the first outside South Africa). ART X Lagos is unlike any other art fair out there in the world, because it has been created in the mould of Lagos’ enterprising and electric spirit.

‘The energy and dynamism of these artists has been brilliant to see and has strengthened my optimism for the future of contemporary art in Africa.’

The art platform aims to increase Nigeria’s connection to the African and international contemporary art scene and to push Lagos as a key player and capital city in Africa’s emerging cultural market.

An ambitious yet not easy feat, the first edition of the fair will feature some of Africa’s top art galleries who will showcase over 60 of the continents talented contemporary African artists. The programme over the weekend is full and includes talks, presentations, live installations, music collaborations and more!

For more info click here or download the ART X Lagos app via Google Play or the Apple app store.

Here are our recommendations on the 5 things you must do at the first ever ART X Lagos:

Gauge Africa's artistic talent

The fair will have over 60 of the most exciting artists in the contemporary African art game exhibiting their works including George Osodi, Gerald Chukwuma, Jeremiah Quarshie,  Ghada Amer,  Nnenna Okore, Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze and Victor Ehikhamenor among many others. Emerging artists will also be showcased in special projects where they will excute their art form  live whether it be in the photography studio or the life-sized colouring wall.

‘Hairstyles’ by J. D. Okhai Ojeikere

‘The Heart’ by Ghada Amer

‘1 pm, Mason’s Yard’ by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

‘Old wood’ by Emmanuel O Achusi
Get acquainted with contemporary African art galleries

With top galleries such Gallery 1957, Goodman Gallery, SMO Contemporary Art and Stevenson Gallery having booths this is the place to feast on visuals whether you are a newbie or a veteran of the art world. And although the economy and oil prices may be shaky, word on the streets is that contemporary African art is the way to really invest….

For the art and music lovers: ART X Live

ART X Lagos is more than just your ordinary art exhibition! The fair will have an ART X Stage where some of the continent’s most prolific lyricists, music producers and visual artists will come together and collaborate on art and music. ‘Intersections’ will become a live art and sound performance installation. Must-see acts include the soothing streams of consciousness from rapper POE and the eclectic sounds of music producer Ikon joined together with visual artists like Yadichinma, Olatunde Alara, Kadara Enyeasi and Stacey Okparavero.

Olatunde Alara
Chat all things art at ART X Talks

Hosted by Bisi Silva, ART X Lagos will have a programme filled with enriching conversations, debates and panel discussions about everything from Africa’s art and culture economy to important themes of African art works. The 30+ local and international speakers include artists, gallerists, curators, performers, industry leaders and collectors. Rumours are circulating that African art legend himself – the wonderful El Anatsui – is a confirmed speaker for the ART X Talks Sunday finale!

Visit Las Gidi!

As you are there, may as well enjoy the sights and sounds Lagos has to offer! Mark Zuckerberg certainly loved it and ‘The New York of Africa’ is one of the most cosmopolitan cities on the continent. (Plus we all know how much Nigerians love to celebrate and party!) ART X Lagos offer visitor information, guided city tours and packages on the best attractions, restaurants, galleries and cultural activities to do while in Lagos.

‘Monochrome Lagos Series’ by Logor

‘Monochrome Lagos Series’ by Logor