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Modern & Contemporary Art Collection

Modern and Contemporary art is at the core of connecting MOWAA to West Africa’s present society and thriving creative culture.

As a result, MOWAA is dedicated to creating infrastructure and programming to support Nigeria’s growing population of creatives through artist residencies, live and workspaces, academic research facilities, exhibition spaces, and opportunities for hands-on curatorial practice and exhibition management.

“The possibilities of West African art are exciting, but it cannot be an island.”
― Aindrea Emelife, Curator of Contemporary and Modern Art
With these key focuses in mind, MOWAA is committed to supporting Craftsmen and Artists in West Africa and beyond.

The Modern and Contemporary Art collection will live in the Rainforest Gallery, MOWAA’s first major, purpose-built gallery space within the Campus. Set in a re-planted rainforest garden, it will enable visitors to interact with nature and reflect on the influence of the natural environment on art and artisanship.

Due to open in 2025, the Gallery will be a world class 1,500sqm exhibition space designed by Worofila, a Dakar-based architectural studio specializing in bioclimatic architecture.

Key Areas of Focus and Goals

  • Advancing the field of academic research in contemporary and modern West African art.
  • Collecting and displaying West African and Diasporic art, with a preliminary research emphasis on Nigerian Modernism.
  • Generating new, multi-faceted narratives and interpretations of West African art and history.
  • Establishing relationships with global museums and institutions, with the view of creating a truly global art ecosystem by way of education partnerships, touring exhibitions and other points of knowledge exchange.
  • Supporting and developing arts and museum education, by way of curatorial fellowships, art professional training and museology development.