Nigeria: Renowned Sculptor, El Anatsui, named one of 6 judges for 2016 "Emerging Voices Awards in The Arts" contest


Lagos, Nigeria (PANA)
- Renowned Ghanaian Sculptor, Prof. El Anatsui, has been named one of the six international judges chosen for this year's Financial Times/OppenheimerFund "Emerging Voices Awards in The Arts", according to a press statement, received here Monday from Mrs. Therese Nweke, Head of Media & Communications at the ANATSUI ART INITIATIVE (AAI), in Lagos, Nigeria.

According to Mrs. Nweke, the highly competitive art, film and literary international competition now in its second year, attracts a prize of US$40,000 for the winner of each category, and enhanced global recognition of their work. Runners-up will receive US$5,000.

She quoted Michael Skapinker, the Chair of Emerging Voices judges, as saying: "the competition seeks to recognise the most exciting writers, film-makers and artists coming out of emerging markets in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, whose work exemplifies their art form and best represents the voice of their region".

Skapinker, she said justified Prof. Anatsui's inclusion on the panel of judges because of his widely-acknowledged expertise and leadership in the field of art.

In a recent statement, the awards organisers similarly described the panel of judges as "carefully selected nominators who are experts in the fields of art, film and literature. . . (and) leaders in their respective field".

In May, Prof. Anatsui was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts degree by the prestigious Harvard University in the US. And less than a month later, in June, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts by the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa, which, according to The Times Higher Education World University Ranking, 2015/2016, is Africa's highest ranking university, having placed 120 in the world's best 800.

El Anatsui, a globally-recognised sculptor, is the recipient of numerous international prizes, honours and awards; including the Venice Biennale's highest honour - The Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Among Emerging Voices 2016 art entries, which have been reduced to the best 10, and will be finally shortlisted to three, is the artist and writer, Victor Ehikhamenor of Nigeria. Others are Noor Abuarafeh of Jordan; Aicha Filali, Tunisia; Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga, Kenya; Ilan Godfrey, South Africa; Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, the Democratic Republic of Congo; Syowia Kyambi, Kenya; Emo de Medeiros, Benin; Gareth Nyandoro, Zimbabwe; and Abel Tilahun of Ethiopia.

The three finalists will be announced in August, and will travel to New York for the awards gala on 26 September 2016, where the category winners will be announced.

This year's awards for Africa are in painting, drawing, sculpture, installations, photography, prints and mixed media. Last year, Nigerian writer, Chigozie Obioma, won the Emerging Voices Fiction Award, over more than 160 entries in that category, with his debut novel, "The Fisherman".

"The Emerging Voices Awards in The Arts" are a joint initiative of the Financial Times, the world's leading business news organisation, and OppenheimerFunds, a leader in global asset management which manages more than US$216 billion in assets for more than 13 million shareholders worldwide.

The awards represent a global action by both organisations to recognise and honour artistic talent across more than 100 emerging market nations. Justin Leverenz, the founder of the awards, describes them as meant "to promote a global stage to feature the visionary talent, creativity and originality of artists from emerging market nations", and adds: "we wanted to create a platform to support artists in developing markets. It's a way to change the world".
-0- PANA PR/VAO 11July2016

11 july 2016 13:12:29




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