Africa is known for her amazing artworks with global recognition. Many artworks from Africa have crossed the sea to different parts of the world. Some have been controversially stolen and preserved in museums and various art galleries.
Art in Africa has been one of the ways to freeze time and it has helped sculpt history. It has played a significant role in preserving Africa’s rich cultural identity. From paintings to sculptures, and everything art, art continues to make waves in the ecosystem. Today, different artists have taken it on social media to sell their works and to connect with public figures as well as making portraits of celebrities to gain recognition.
But art is beyond making ends meet. Curators continue to synergize with talents in raising a number of world-class art galleries offering opportunities for art lovers within and outside the continent to explore Africa through art and to celebrate Africa’s artistic accomplishments.
It has been a movement and a transformative process in promoting art and keeping African culture and history alive in the public’s consciousness. Here’s a list of 5 jaw-dropping art galleries to visit in Africa:
GALERIE EL MARSA, LA MARSA, TUNISIA
Elmarsa art gallery in Tunisia is where many established artists’ works have been showcased and it also puts young emerging artists on international creative scenes to gain recognition for their works. The gallery over the years has organized shows themed on the impact of the African and Arabian cultural heritage as well as the impact of the Mediterranean revolving around contemporary and historical events in the region. The Elmarsa gallery is raised in the heart of La Marsa, Tunisia. It stands boldly next to the oldest cafés in Tunis, Saf Saf, close to the Mediterranean coastline in the historic palace, El Abdalliya Essoughra.
BANANA HILL ART GALLERY, NAIROBI, KENYA
Many have described this gallery as “a pearl among the art galleries in Nairobi.” Banana Hill Art Gallery, consistently displays contemporary African artworks meticulously selected for exhibitions. It has showcased the works of over 80 well-known artists from Kenya and East Africa as a whole. The artworks consist of unimaginable aesthetic paintings and sculptures discussing significant subject matters well-captured through individual artistic interpretation. The artworks are reflections of Kenya’s culture, wildlife, landscape and everyday rural and city life.
EUREKA GALERIE, ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST
Eureka art gallery in the capital of Ivory Coast, is a home of art diversity. It contains paintings, sculptures, antique masks, and even fabrics and textiles. It’s everything art! It’s give you an eureka feeling all day long in its earth-tone interior. It brings a diverse collection of local and international artworks in one warm place. Popular Ivorian artists like Salif Diabagaté and Djédjé Mel, French painter Jean Claude Heinen, and Ghanaian painters Gabriel Eklou and Samkobee, are groundbreaking creatives whose works have all been displayed at the Eureka art gallery.
ZAMALEK ART GALLERY, CAIRO, EGYPT
With white painted walls, wooden floors, and arch-like doorways, Zamalek Art Gallery is an artwork in its own permanently accommodating other great pieces in its spacious interior from over 20 well-recognized artists including late Gamal El Sagini. Zamalek positions in promoting contemporary artworks hosting monthly exhibitions where both exclusive and emerging artists are equally featured.
NIKE ART GALLERY, LAGOS, NIGERIA
In West Africa, Nike Art Gallery is arguably the largest of its kind, but definitely Nigeria’s leading art gallery situated at 2 Elegushi Beach Road in Lekki. With a hint of ownership in title, the gallery is owned by Chief Nike Davies Okundaye, a Nigerian batik and Adire textile designer who strives to improve lives of disadvantaged women in Nigeria through art. The five storey building houses the art gallery and a textile museum featuring over 8,000 pieces from various Nigerian artists.
It’s a great place to visit. And guess what? It has a coffee shop too 🙂
ZOMA CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER, ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA
Zoma is more than a gallery; It’s a sculpture designed by Sime situated in a mud house made of straw, and stone.
Its creation was inspired by the idea of environmental sustainability through art with locations in Addis Ababa and Harla, a historical village near Dire Dawa in Ethiopia. At Zoma Contemporary Art Center, there is an open studio for visiting artists and exhibitions are organized in the showroom regularly.
The countless works of art displayed in these galleries are priceless. They are poetries in bristles, paints, clay molding, wood carving, bead making, and anything you can think of, depicting socio-economic and political reality of Africa through art.
By Elijah Christopher
Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.