The Nigerian artist Diana Ejaita and Ghanaian painter and sculptor Samuel Kortey Baah are among the four fellows announced for the 2023 Villa Romana Prize.
The prize, which was established in 1905, is the oldest German art award. Administered by the Deutscher Kuenstlerbund (Association of German Artists), the prize provides for a year-long residency for selected fellows in the Villa Romana, a nineteenth-century villa on the Via Senese in the southern outskirts of Florence, in Tuscany in central Italy. Fellows are also awarded a cash prize, including publication.
The 2023 fellows were selected by a jury panel consisting of artist Emeka Ogboh and curator and publisher Chiara Figone. The selected fellows reflect a diversity of artistic process, age, as well as level of career achievements, owing mostly to the judges’ choice to “support the possibility of transgenerational exchange as a fundamental ground for reciprocity and mutual learning.”
Read the biography of the fellows below:
Diana Ejaita was born in Italy. She studied fine art in France and Germany and lives in Lagos and Berlin. Her practice moves across illustration, textile and fashion design. She uses fabric as a medium and as a way to reconnect to her Nigerian heritage. Through textiles, she tells stories of her experience as a child of the diaspora. West African textiles use fabric as a tool to narrate stories, give life advice, and transmit status and information about genealogy.
Samuel Kortey Baah was born in Ghana and lives between Kumasi and Frankfurt. He is currently pursuing his MFA at the Department of Painting and Sculpture KNUST (Kumasi, Ghana) and is an exchange student in Städelschule, Frankfurt. The artist is a member of three collectives, blaxTARLINES, Commune6x3, and a co-founder of the Asafo Black Collective. He works with postcolonial histories and religious iconographies, and experiments with organic materials.
Find out more about the fellows here. Congrats to Ejaita and Baah!