By Edward Tsumele
It works much better when resources are put together for achieving a mutually beneficial goal, and this is certainly true when it comes to the contemporary art collective, African Galleries Association, formed in 2016 and representing mainly independent galleries on the African continent.
The recent fruits of this association made up of 12 galleries is the African Galleries Now exhibition, a collaborative effort that sees these galleries have a slot to exhibit works of artists represented by each gallery on the platform of the US media and auction house Artsy.
African Galleries Now is an exhibition of interesting art works by African artists signed to these galleries launched online only on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. on Artsy.
This collaboration for 2021 was first announced on May11, 2021 in Johannesburg by the African Art Galleries Association (AAGA). African Galleries Now’ – is the annual signature online-only event in partnership with Artsy — the leading US-based media and
art auction platform.
The ‘African Galleries Now’ x Artsy collaboration brings together a network of 12 African Art Galleries Association members showcasing new emerging and mid-tier artists over three weeks, having commenced yesterday.
Each gallery is presenting four visual artists, a total of 48 participants including: Pebofatso Mokoena and Helen Teede (First Floor Gallery, Zimbabwe), Aviwe Plaatjie and Wole Lagunju (Ebony Curated, South Africa), Tuli Mekondjo and Sizwe Sama Sibisi (Guns & Rain, South Africa), Mauro Pinto (Arte de Gema, Mozambique), Osvaldo Ferreira (This is not a white cube, Angola), Turiya Magadlela and Ayanda Mabulu (Kalashnikovv, South Africa), Mario Macilau and Antonio Ole, (MOVART, Angola), Charlene Komuntale and Eltayeb Delwabait, (Afriart Gallery, Uganda) and Amel Bennys and Thameur Mejri (Selma Feriani Gallery, Tunis).
This collaboration is particularly interesting in that it is happening against the backdrop of international interest in African contemporary art as such interest continues to grow.
Therefore the pan-African AAGA initiative that brings together a broad community of arts professionals championing the growth and sustainability of contemporary African visual art on the
continent and supports its future leaders, is aimed at harnessing this current global interest in African contemporary art.
These galleries that have come together to form this association, believe by building an African arts infrastructure and advancing the professional development of artists, curators, critics, art dealers and collectors, while creating networks that allow smaller galleries to prosper — not just the corporate elites — the pan-African AAGA initiative is supporting contemporary art sectors and infrastructure on all parts of the continent.