AFRICA’SOUT! invites visual artists from the African continent and those in its diaspora to submit applications for consideration for a 6 week Residency in New York from September to October 2017.
AFRICA’SOUT!’s Artist Residency program supports emerging and mid-career artists from the African diaspora whose work speaks to a social and political engagement with Africa. The artist selected will benefit from the space to create and the exposure to the contemporary art conversations and relationships that AFRICA’SOUT! can offer bringing their unique perspective into conversation with more established artists, curators, and collectors in the New York City art community. All towards fulfilling the AO! mission to support artists to change the narrative around Africa, first and foremost, for themselves.
In partnership with Denniston Hill AFRICA’SOUT! awards: a $5,000 cash grant, and a home and studio for the visiting artist in Brooklyn and Upstate New York for 6 weeks.
AO! enhances its support of individual artists' projects with our partner Denniston Hill, a not-for-profit organization and a New York State registered charity located in the Southern Catskills. Founded by artists Julie Mehretu and Paul Pfeiffer and architectural theorist Lawrence Chua, Denniston Hill supports innovation and exploration in the visual arts, architecture, literature, the sciences, and humanities through residencies, exhibitions, and educational programs. Our joint partnership allows AFRICA’SOUT! to offer our artists in residence the serenity of Upstate NY and the hustle of New York City.
More information submission guidelines can be found at FAQs . Find the application here.
Michael Soi, Nairobi, Kenya
In Residence Fall 2016
Michael Soi is a successful painter and sculptor with a unique vision and highly distinctive style. His three dimensional work, usually created on brightly painted canvas, is both playful and biting. His unforgiving, if humorous, gaze focuses on political impunity, greed and Kenya's growing sex industry. Soi works with subjects that a lot of Kenyans would rather not have discussed openly like commercial sex work, intergenerational relationships, interracial relationships or generally what he calls the economics of love. In partnership with Denniston Hill, Michael will split his time between New York City and Upstate New York where he will explore the role of women in Kenyan society.
Soi's paintings are informed by a strong tradition of cartoonists whose works have satirized Kenyan society since independence - often bravely poking fun at the political establishment. He strives to make work that is meaningful to his own nation (which is bought locally by a new generation of Kenyan art collectors), and yet speaks to the growing number of international followers he has gained. His concern is with clarity of form and legibility of message; in the process he has created his own universal pictorial language.
‘I want to create work that highlights women’s issues in Africa, particularly issues that relate to how men view women here and how they treat them. It isn’t a very interesting topic for a lot of people who view my work … due to the fact that a lot of people here would rather not talk about this. They would rather bury their heads in the sand and pretend that these things do not happen. This work will highlight the role that has been assigned to women as implements of joy, pleasure and a means to an end to be enjoyed by men. This is a subject that I have had an interest in for a while now and the aim is to influence how men view and relate to women.” - Nairobi, Spring 2016