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Art School Africa

2023 Research Report

2023 Research Report

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In February 2023, Art School Africa officially launched to the public at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair, where the organisation organised the Walkabout Programme. Art School Africa is an non-profit platform designed to assist individuals in navigating the art industry across Africa by providing access to a multitude of free online and in-person educational resources, in tandem with a like-minded network of art professionals, students, recent graduates and entry level individuals starting their career in the art industry. Art School Africa also provides a central space for individuals to learn about the various art opportunities on the continent such as internships, residencies, full-time job positions, and grant applications.

For the last two consecutive summers, Art School Africa has conducted market research, in collaboration with Harvard University Undergraduate Interns from the Harvard Center for African Studies, to better understand the unique challenges that aspiring art practitioners in the various art capitals in Africa face. Thus far research has been conducted in Cape Town, and Johannesburg in South Africa, Nairobi in Kenya, and now Accra in Ghana.

Art School Africa’s goal is to assist in helping individuals interested in the art industry to kickstart their careers, to pivot from a previous position in the industry, or to act as an informative space for those wanting to learn more about art practice on the continent.

Art School Africa’s core values of equitable education, increasing opportunity in the arts for Africans, and connection via networking are wholly supported by the conducted research to ensure the content of the platform is relevant and accessible. The research performed culminates in an annual research report, which provides a vital foundation for the content that Art School Africa creates. Since the release of last year’s report, Art School Africa has hosted a series of in-person and online discussions, workshops, and interviews surrounding topics such as artist-gallery relationship, marketing and branding, and collections management. These have been in collaboration with established galleries such as Everard Read, and artists such as Zanele Muholi.

For Art School Africa to achieve its goals, it’s important to determine the most pressing challenges faced by aspiring art practitioners. Each region on the continent faces a diverse set of circumstances and, for this reason, it is important for Art School Africa to conduct research in various locales–establishing a current account of the specific artistic scene.

In July of 2023 an undergraduate student research team of two spent 15 days in Accra, Ghana to grasp how Art School Africa can sustainably, ethically, and consciously enter this market.

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