Between October 30th and November 5th, we had the pleasure of hosting the Lagos Art Tour 2023 - an immersive week filled with gallery, museum, and studio visits, complemented by exclusive events at both G.A.S. locations and ART X Lagos. The initiative has stemmed from the success of a similar experience organized by Y.S.F. in 2022 to celebrate the International Launch of Guest Artists Space Foundation, providing global visitors with a firsthand encounter of the vibrant cultural scene in Lagos and beyond.
While our core guests comprised of patrons, gallery directors, curators, and philanthropists, this year, we expanded our programme to include other distinguished groups such as Yale, KIISA, and OUTSET. They gained unprecedented insights into our residency programme and had the opportunity to engage with current residents - Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński (Austria), Gareth Nyandoro (Zimbabwe), Karl Ohiri (Finland), and TK Smith (USA).
The Lagos Art Tour began with a visit to the G.A.S. Farm House and Ecology Green Farm, offering guests not only a scenic tour of the site but also an unforgettable cultural experience. Drummers and masquerade performers set the tone, leading into a dining experience crafted by Chef Michael Elégbèdé using locally sourced produce alongside ingredients from the farm that were expertly prepared by cook Mrs Olushola. The meal was accompanied by performances from the St John’s Primary School children, and poetry readings by writer, poet, and filmmaker Wana Udobang. The return journey to Lagos included a stop at the Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art, where the group enjoyed an exclusive tour led by Museum Director, Jess Catellote.
The following day began with a leisurely visit to Hourglass Gallery to explore an exhibition of rare deep etchings by Professor Bruce Onobrakpeya, one of Africa’s most significant living artists. Visitors were then introduced to our Lagos-based residency centre, where they interacted with current residents and enjoyed a tour of the award-winning G.A.S. Lagos building followed by lunch in the company of Yinka Shonibare CBE.
The afternoon unfolded with a visit to artist Tega Akpokana's studio, followed by a trip to Tiwani Contemporary to explore Wura-Natasha Ogunji’s exhibition, lalala ha! before concluding with an intimate gathering at the private residence of G.A.S. Trustee, Ugoma Ebilah.
The Lagos Art Tour continued the following day with a private guided tour of the John Randle Centre for Yoruba History and Culture. Lunch at the Deputy High Commissioner's private residence, celebrating Shonibare’s commission The Hibiscus and the Rose (2020), was followed by a studio visit with contemporary Nigerian artist, Kaineibi Osahenye. As the evening set in, we took our guests to ART X Lagos for the Collector’s Preview.
Friday featured a day of insightful talks at G.A.S. Lagos, beginning with the Empowering African Arts panel discussion in collaboration with KIISA. This roundtable brought key stakeholders together to address critical aspects such as funding, infrastructure, support systems, market access, education, and cultural exchange on the continent.
In the afternoon, the space hosted On Play, a discussion between curator, artist, and G.A.S. Trustee, Temitayo Ogunbiyi, and Vleeshal's nomadic curators, Nomaduma Rosa Masilela and Thiago de Paula Souza. This event marked the beta version launch of Ogunbiyi’s virtual playground experience. In the evening, our guests returned to ART X for the private view of the fair.
The final official day of the Lagos Art Tour commenced with a visit to Nike Art Gallery, followed by a tour of Kó gallery and a delightful lunch hosted by G.A.S. Patron and gallery founder, Kavita Chellaram. In the afternoon, the group explored some of the city’s shopping gems, including This Is Us, Jazz Hole, and Quintessence, before converging at G.A.S. Lagos for the culminating celebration— our annual Lagos Art Tour party. Our guests enjoyed delicious Ogogoro cocktails sponsored by Pedro’s alongside two dynamic live performances curated by sound and visual artist, and electro-acoustic music composer Adey Omotade immersed in a beautiful 70's inspired set conceptualised by artist Emalohi Iruobe.
Guests who remained in the city on Sunday enjoyed talks by seminal artists, Ibrahim Mahama and Bruce Onobrakpeya before returning to G.A.S. for In My Garden, a performance by resident Gareth Nyandoro.