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Foundations Art Fair: Celebrating African Artists’ Rich Heritage

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The art world is witnessing a glorious display of talent this week at Foundations Art Fair. In collaboration with the Cierra Britton Gallery, African artists are at the forefront of this exhibition. The featured artists include Nola Ayoola, Lewinale Havette, and Amy Amalia (South American). These artists continue to mesmerize art enthusiasts and collectors with their avant-garde works. Let us look at the artists in depth.

Nola Ayoola is the first African featured artist at the Foundations Art Fair. She draws her artistic inspiration from her Nigerian heritage by infusing her creations with the essence of other Nigerian heritage. Ayoola skillfully portrays her homeland’s vibrant traditions, customs, and daily life by us by using bold and vivid colours to convey the vivacity of African culture. She transports viewers to the bustling streets of Lagos while focusing mainly on the warmth of communal gatherings and the continent’s rich history.

Nola Ayoola-Tales By Moonlight, 2023. Acrylic, oil pastel, and pencil on stretched woven calico cotton. 139.7 × 69.9 × 3.8 cm. Image courtesy of Artsy.

Next, we have the Sierra Leone artist Lewinale Havette. She takes the spotlight at the exhibition, with her artistic journey deeply entwined with her personal experiences and the complexities of the African diaspora. She spent her early years in Sierra Leone before immigrating to the United States. As such, her art mainly grapples with questions of identity, belonging, and displacement as she navigates existing in the two worlds. Her installations have become potent narratives of the African diaspora. They reflect on migration, cultural adaptation, and the enduring spirit of resilience among displaced communities.

Lewinale Havette – Medicine Woman, 2023. Archival pigment print, colour sticks, acrylic, ink on hot press paper. 50.8 × 50.8 cm. Image courtesy of Artsy.

Lastly is an honourable mention for the Guyanese artist Amy Amalia. While Amy Amalia is not of African descent herself, her art pays homage to the continent’s rich cultural tapestry. Born in South America, Guyana, Amalia has deeply admired African art and its expressive depth. Her fascination with the interplay of colour, form, and symbolism in African art is evident in her work. Amalia’s pieces reflect a harmonious fusion of South American artistic traditions with the vivaciousness of African motifs. The artworks create a captivating synergy that resonates with viewers.

Amy Amalia- Blondey, 2023. Acrylic on acetate. 30.5 × 22.9 cm. Image courtesy of Artsy.

The Foundations Art Fair is a must-see for all collectors, investors, and art enthusiasts. These featured artists serve as cultural ambassadors as they continue to transmit the beauty and diversity of their heritage to a global audience. Their creative expressions provide insights into the multifaceted dimensions of African identity. Moreover, their works showcase the continent’s deep-rooted traditions alongside its dynamic evolution in the modern world. The Cierra Britton Gallery’s dedication to showcasing the works of these artists elevates their voices and heritage, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of African art. Foundations is an art exhibition celebrating cultural heritage, as visitors get the unique opportunity to explore Africa’s history, stories, and creative brilliance.

Their masterful creations serve as a bridge between continents. They have also promoted cultural exchange and fostered an appreciation for the rich tapestry of African heritage. As visitors immerse themselves in the depth and beauty of their art, they gain a deeper understanding of the continent’s vast contributions to contemporary art. They also understand the intrinsic value of preserving and cherishing cultural heritage in our increasingly interconnected world. To see more of the show, click here.


Rose Mwikali Musyoki is a creative writer from Nairobi, Kenya. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Business and Finance from the University of Embu, Kenya, and is the founder of Bloom Inc, an art startup in Kenya. Currently, she works as a writer for Art News Africa.

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