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Call for Applications:
TSA Art Writing Master Class II

Application Opens: June 13, 2019

Application Deadline: July 7, 2019

New Deadline: July 14, 2019 

Master Class Dates: August 26 – 30, 2019

Participation Fee Deadline: August 20, 2019

Following the successful debut of the TSA Art Writing Master Class in 2018, TSA African Culture Foundation is pleased to announce the second edition of the program scheduled for August 26 – 30, 2019. The facilitator is Chika Okeke-Agulu, award-winning art critic and professor of art history at Princeton University.

Leading the program for the second time, Professor Okeke-Agulu comments that “Following the very successful inaugural session last year, I very much look forward to returning for the second Art Writing Master Class. I firmly believe that this unique and intensive program will help produce a new generation of confident, compelling, and conscientious art writers for Nigeria, West Africa, and beyond.”

The TSA Art Writing Master Class is an intensive one-week program for art writers, culture journalists, curators and other art professionals from African countries interested in developing their skills and writing on modern and contemporary art. It is an uncommon platform facilitating exchange between leading voices in the arts and early to mid-career art professionals.

At the second edition, participants will be exposed to the different approaches of art criticism, art history and how to write coherent analytical essays through interactive lectures, exercises, and visits to art exhibitions in the Lagos metropolis. They will be taught how to study art in isolation and within the broader debates of society. Delicate issues such as plagiarism, the power dynamics between artist, critic, and curator, as well as maintaining the fundamental ethos of criticism in an increasingly commercial art world will be extensively discussed.

The Master Class further offers opportunities for networking and access to critical resources that will enhance the participants’ careers. Like the preceding year, it promises to be productive, creative and intense. It will culminate in a writing project that will be considered for publishing in notable print and online publications.

The year’s TSA Art Writing Master Class is generously supported by Hydrocarbon Advisors and The Guardian Nigeria, an award-winning and trusted newspaper in Africa. Through the “Friends of TSA African Culture Foundation”, a limited number of outstanding applicants will be awarded grants to cover the workshop tuition. Particularly, female applicants and individuals from cities outside Lagos are encouraged to apply for this competitive grant. If you would like to benefit from this endowment, please include such request in your letter of motivation to be considered.  


Who can apply?

Art writers, culture journalists, practising curators and curatorial scholars, interested final year undergraduates as well as fresh graduates and art & culture bloggers. Previous participants are encouraged to apply.


Benefits to participants:

–    Improving their understanding of art and visual literacy.

–    Developing simple, precise and coherent language for art analysis.

–    Learning how to develop content, argument, and a compelling voice in art criticism.

–    The opportunity of a one-on-one with the lead facilitator to discuss their individual challenges in the field of art and possible solutions.

–    The opportunity to write for art publications and earn income as a writer.

–    The opportunity for networking and connecting with other professionals in the field.


Application requirements:

–    A portfolio of published writings in print and/or online publications is compulsory for art writers and journalists.

–    Final year undergraduates, fresh graduates and curatorial scholars are required to submit sample writings only.

–    All applicants must fit into the categories of “who can apply” and be able to prove this.

–    All applicants must be resident in Africa. Applications from different locations are now welcomed. But please note, applicants dedicated to art (or related fields) from Africa and its diasporas will be given priority. 

–    All applicants must have a post-secondary school qualification.

–    All applicants must 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. (Download the form here)

–    A CV of the applicant. (Not more than 2 pages).

–    Two samples of published (or unpublished) writings about art or a similar field (i.e. photography, dance, performance, video art, etc.). The sample writing could be an opinion piece, a review, a short essay or a blog post not exceeding 1500 words.

–    A motivation letter explaining why you want to attend the Master Class. 500 words maximum.

Please send all application materials as an attachment in one properly formatted pdf packet to projects@thesoleadventurer.com by July 7, 2019. Participants will be selected by a panel of independent art professionals who are not members of TSA African Culture Foundation or TSA Art Magazine. 


Participation Fee:

Only selected applicants will be notified and required to pay a participation fee of N35,000. Deadline for payment is August 20, 2019.

Please note, participants will be responsible for their own travel, accommodation and boarding arrangements during the Master Class in Lagos. Assistance in the form of information and advice will be provided to participants from outside Nigeria.


Key Persons

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 contributes to exhibition publications and has covered biennales including Dak’Art (Senegal), Venice Biennale (Italy) and Jogja Biennale XIII (Indonesia). In 2017, she was guest 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 programs through TSA African Culture Foundation.

Master Class 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). His latest curatorial project, the traveling exhibition, El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale (co-organized with Okwui Enwezor) opened at Haus der Kunst, Munich in March.

His writings have appeared in African Arts, Meridians: 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.

He is on the Transnational Advisory Board, Hyundai Tate Research Center, Tate Modern, London; Advisory Board, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; and on the Selection Committee, Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowships in the History of Art. 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).

(Text courtesy of princeton.edu)


Key Partners

Hydrocarbon Advisors

Led by respected Lagos art patron Hakeem Adedeji, Hydrocarbon Advisors Limited is an investment banking advisory firm established in 2015 uniquely focused on providing strategic financial guidance.

The Guardian Nigeria 

The Guardian (Nigeria) is an award-winning and trusted newspaper in Africa. It is an independent newspaper, established in 1983 for the purpose of presenting balanced coverage of events, and of promoting the best interests of Nigeria. It owes allegiance to no political party, ethnic community, religious or other interest groups. Its primary commitment is to the integrity and sovereignty of the Federation of Nigeria, and beyond that to the unity and sovereignty of Africa. Led by Toke Alex Ibru, The Guardian (Nigeria) is one of the few local newspapers still dedicated to reporting the arts in Africa.

The Sole Adventurer (TSA)

The Sole Adventurer is a media and cultural projects initiative operating as TSA Art Media and TSA African Culture Foundation. The media platform publishes about contemporary visual arts from Africa on www.thesoleadventurer.com 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. thesoleadventurer.com reaches art enthusiasts and professionals in different cities in Africa, Europe and the US.

As a cultural foundation, TSA organises projects at the intersection of culture, education and society. Our initiatives include Art Forum Africa and TSA Art Writing Master Class.

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, Hydrocarbon Advisors and the Goethe Institute in Nigeria. 

For further information, please contact us on:

T:  +234 703 123 7019

E:  projects@thesoleadventurer.com 

Or Visit:  www.thesoleadventurer.com/projects/