Call for Applications:

TSA Art Writing Master Class with Professor Chika Okeke-Agulu


Application Opens: 6th August 2018

Application Deadline: 7th September 2018

Deadline Extended: 14th September 2018 

Workshop Payment Due: 22nd October 2018


TSA Art Writing Master Class is an intensive programme designed for art writers and journalists with keen interest in advancing their craft of art writing. It is set up to drive interactions between accomplished art professionals and a new generation of art writers, and to redirect critical thinking and writing in the West African art scenes.

Distinguished and active international art historians, writers and critics working in the academic, curatorial and media fields of art, mostly of African descent but with a broad and in-depth knowledge of art across different cultures and societies, will be invited to lead the master class. Each session will run for five days and with a group of fifteen participants.

The first master class, scheduled to take place from Tuesday 30th October – Saturday 3rd November 2018, will be led by renowned Princeton University professor of Art History, Chika Okeke-Agulu. It is envisioned to be productive, creative, supportive and intense. Participants will be guided through a mastery of cognitive and linguistic elements in art writing. There will be writing exercises, reviews of specific artworks and artists, visits to selected exhibitions showing in Lagos at this time and a final writing project that will be considered for publishing in notable print and online publications. Outstanding participants will have opportunities such as nominations for international residencies.


The Master Class will offer:

–    practising art writers/journalists the opportunity to hone their skills in art criticism.

–    a one-on-one session with the workshop facilitator Prof. Okeke-Agulu, a leading art critic and art historian.

–    in-depth research on the craft of writing about the arts.

–    developing content, argument, and a compelling voice in art writing.


To be considered for the master class, applicants are required to:

–    have a portfolio of published writings in print and/or online publications. 

–    be an art writer and/or journalist from West African countries only.

–    have a post-secondary qualification.

–    fill an application form. (download from here)

–    be proficient in both written and spoken English as classes will be taught in English language only. 


Applicants must submit ALL of the following documents in a single PDF file:

  • Filled application form.
  • CV of the applicant (not more than 2 pages).
  • Two samples of published writings about art or a similar field (i.e. photography, dance, performance, video art, etc.). Each sample writing could be an opinion, review, short essay, or a blog post not exceeding 1500 words.
  • A statement of intent to participate – 500 words maximum.

All application materials are to be submitted as an attachment in one properly formatted pdf packet to Participants will be selected by independent art professionals who are not members of TSA Cultural Foundation and TSA Art Magazine.


An update on who can apply and requirements: 

Based on persistent requests to open up the workshop participation and application deadline, we have extended the deadline and also expanded the scope of participants to all interested final year undergraduates, fresh graduates, curatorial scholars, art & culture bloggers, and aspiring young writers seeking to learn or improve their knowledge of art criticism. 

For this category of applicants, two unpublished writing samples about art or a similar field are allowed for submission in addition to the filled application form, CV and statement of intent to participate. 


Workshop Fee:

Only selected applicants will be notified and required to pay a participation fee of N35,000. A grant is available for one to two exceptional applications. This grant covers only the participation fee. Deserving applicant(s) will be notified during the selection phase in mid-September.

Please note, participants are responsible for their own travel, accommodation and boarding arrangements during the workshop in Lagos. TSA will provide assistance in the form of information and advice on available accommodation/boarding facilities to participants from outside Nigeria.


TSA Art Writing Master Class is organized by TSA Cultural Foundation in partnership with Goethe-Institut, Nigeria.


Master Class Program Director – Bukola Oyebode

Bukola Oyebode is an art writer, editor and publisher. She is the founder and managing editor of the visual arts magazine The Sole Adventurer (TSA). As a writer, she has made contributions to online and print magazines. She also writes for exhibition publications and has covered biennales including Dak’Art (Senegal), Venice Biennale (Italy) and Jogja Biennale XIII (Indonesia). In 2017, she was editor of Intense Art Magazine special publication on women artists in Nigeria.

Oyebode is a graduate of English from Lagos State University, Nigeria. She organises social and cultural development programs in the arts through TSA Cultural Foundation.  


Master Class Program Lead Facilitator – Chika Okeke-Agulu (MFA, Ph.D.)

Professor Chika Okeke-Agulu is an artist, curator, critic and art historian. He is Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University, and specializes in classical, modern, and contemporary African and African Diaspora art history and theory. He previously taught at The Pennsylvania State University, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Yaba College of Technology, Lagos. He began his career in Lagos as an art critic for the newspapers African Concord, Daily Times and Guardian.

He is the author of Obiora Udechukwu: Line, Image, Text (Skira Editore, 2016); Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria (Duke, 2015); and (with Okwui Enwezor), Contemporary African Art Since 1980 (Damiani, 2010). He is co-editor of Ezumeezu: Essays on Contemporary Art and Architecture, a festschrift in Honour of Demas Nwoko (Goldline & Jacobs, 2012); and Who Knows Tomorrow (König, 2010).

In 2006, he edited the first ever issue of African Arts dedicated to African Modernism, and his writings have appeared in African ArtsMeridians: Feminism, Race, Internationalism, Artforum International, New York Times, Packett, Art Journal, South Atlantic Quarterly and October. He is co-editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art and maintains the blog Ọfọdunka.

His many awards include Frank Jewett Mather Award for Distinction in Art Criticism (2016), and Melville J. Herskovits Prize for the Most Important Scholarly Work in African Studies (2016).


About Goethe-Institut

The Goethe-Institut is the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institute, active worldwide. They promote the study of German abroad and encourage international and cultural exchange.


About The Sole Adventurer (TSA)

The Sole Adventurer is a media and cultural projects initiative operating as TSA Art Media and TSA Cultural Foundation. The media platform publishes about contemporary visual arts from Africa on and in special print publications. Originally focused on Nigeria, the editorial interests now include other African countries, their linked diaspora locations and where the news is exciting and relevant to our growing audience.

As a cultural foundation, TSA organizes projects exposing teenagers to art, sponsors their participation in art and craft workshops and organizes talk events as Art Forum Africa. TSA is generally interested in the intersections of culture, society and education.

TSA has enjoyed the support and partnership of The Netherlands Embassy in Lagos, the French Cultural Network in Nigeria, Ford Foundation, Women and Youth Art Foundation, and most recently the Goethe Institute in Nigeria.


For further communication, contact us on:

T:  +234 703 123 7019