The stage is now set for the commencement of +234Art Fair, a national exhibition as hundreds of artists have indicated their interest to showcase their works at the Ecobank Pan African Centre (EPAC) 2,000 square meter venue of the fair. Top government officials, policy makers, members of the diplomatic corps and art enthusiasts across the globe are expected at the 10-day exhibition which starts on Friday 22nd March.

Curated by Soto Gallery, in partnership with Ecobank and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), +234Art Fair sets out to catalyze the creative sector by enabling emerging artists achieve recognition and forge livelihoods, contributing to their economic growth through art sales locally and internationally.

Founder of Soto Gallery, Tola Akerele explained that the exhibition’s title ‘+234Art’ combines Nigeria’s dialing code with the concept of art to signpost a thorough exposition of what regional art looks like today, and how it interacts with the larger art community across the continent and beyond.

According to her, ‘In presenting ‘A New Heritage,’ +234Art Fair seeks to connect Nigerian art from the past to the present, fostering a sense of pride and purpose among emerging artists. The event prompts essential questions: What does it mean to be a Nigerian artist? What heritage underlies our artistic practice? How can we celebrate emerging artists, knowing they will contribute to our artistic heritage and legacy in the future?”

Managing Director and Regional Executive, Ecobank Nigeria, Bolaji Lawal assured that the fair would be exciting and fulfilling for both the “un-galleried” artists and art enthusiasts across the world. He added that the exhibition serves as a cynosure for all art lovers and provides opportunities for emerging artists to showcase their works locally and globally.

Commenting, President & CEO of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), Samaila Zubairu, enjoined members of the public to be part of the fair because of the attendant benefits. He noted “we are proud to collaborate with Ecobank and Soto Gallery to help Africa’s creative industry move forward by creating a catalyst for promoting African art and artists locally and on the global stage.”

Key highlights of the fair includes: diverse art pieces, art centric bookstore, immersive children’s area, VIP lounge, culinary delights and engaging masterclasses and workshops.

About Ecobank

Ecobank Nigeria Ltd. is a subsidiary of the Ecobank Group, the leading Pan-African banking group with operations in 33 African countries and an international presence in four locations (London, Paris, Beijing, and Dubai). Ecobank Nigeria is a full-service bank providing wholesale, retail, investment and transaction banking services and products to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organizations, medium, small and micro businesses and individuals.

Ecobank is a major player in the distribution of financial services in Nigeria, leveraging digital platforms including Ecobank Mobile App and USSD *326#, Ecobank Online, Ecobank OmniPlus, Ecobank Omnilite, EcobankPay, Ecobank RapidTransfer, ATMs, POSs and an extensive distribution network of over 250 branches and over 50,000 agency banking locations

About Soto Gallery

SOTO Gallery is a contemporary art centre dedicated to sharing diverse African perspectives through art. With an aim to spotlight emerging talents while promoting established artists, the gallery seeks to be a holistic interface between the new and the known, across Africa’s evolving art industry.

We are an artist-oriented and community-centred space seeking to rediscover new ways of engaging artists in response to age-old questions. Through immersive exchanges and art education, we reflect on ideas from a renewed standpoint, resulting in a transformative experience of African art in many varied forms.

The origin of SOTO Gallery began with iDesign Art, established in 2018. iDesign Art is an affordable art fair conceived on the premise of fostering a culture of art appreciation from new and emerging Nigerian talents. Through nine successful editions over the years, we were able to discover and nurture dynamic young talents while impacting on the economic and cultural values of contemporary Nigerian art, with over two hundred artists featured.

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