September 21, 2016


The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art will recognize best in contemporary African art and philanthropy on the continent during its inaugural African Art Awards Dinner in October.

Recipients of the award includes internationally renowned British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE, Kenyan-based emerging artist Ato Malinda, and Bob Collymore, global philanthropist, are being honored for their artistic achievements and generous contributions as individuals for influencing the way the global community experiences the dynamic and diverse arts of Africa by highlighting the diversity of Africa.

PHOTO CREDIT: National Museum of African Art. British-Nigerian contemporary artist Yinka Suhonibare MBE, one of the world's best known artists.

PHOTO CREDIT: National Museum of African Art. British-Nigerian contemporary artist Yinka Suhonibare MBE, one of the world’s best known artists.

Mr. Shonibare, one of the world’s most celebrated artists whose work can be found in numerous public and private collections around the world, including a video titled Un Ballo in Maschera currently on view in the museum’s Senses of Time exhibition, has consistently explored exchange, history, and hybrid identity in the post-colonial era.

Mr. Collymore, the CEO of Safaricom, Kenyan major telecom became an art enthusiast as a young boy when he began painting, and has since supported and funded several art initiatives on the African continent through his philanthropist efforts.

Ms. Malinda, whose work was part of the recent Agitprop exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, became known in the art world for her thought-provoking multimedia art, which explores sexuality, gender and nationality, advocating for women and the LGBTQ community in Africa.

“On fait” a video ensemble created by the Kenyan-based artist was on display in The Divine Comedy exhibition at the National Museum of African Art in 2015.

Johnnetta Betsch Cole, the museum director said each of the honorees is “exemplary in their field, continually working to make a difference on and off the continent.”

The event, which is scheduled to take place Friday, October 28, will also feature CNN International anchor Isha Sesay and celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, the founder of the Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem.


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