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Ecobank Nigeria and Soto Gallery invites emerging Nigerian artists to participate in an international art exhibition.

Ecobank Nigeria and Soto Gallery invites emerging Nigerian artists to participate in an international art exhibition.


Ecobank Nigeria has entered a strategic partnership with Soto Gallery to organize an international art exhibition for emerging young Nigerian artists. The exhibition, tagged +234Art, is a 10-day art fair in the heart of Lagos and is scheduled to commence on Friday, March 22, 2024. It is dedicated to nurturing and uplifting the burgeoning art industry in Nigeria by providing a platform to support emerging artists and encourage increased interest in art acquisition, thereby contributing to the growth and prosperity of the local art sector and its international recognition.

Bolaji Lawal, Managing Director/Regional Executive, Ecobank Nigeria, said the partnership is in line with the Pan African Bank’s policy of promoting the creative industry in the country and on the African continent. According to him, “our objective at Ecobank is to project Nigerian creatives by highlighting their talents and providing a platform as well as opportunities for them to showcase their works locally and globally. The creative industry is an essential driver of economic growth, well-being, and global connectivity. We will continue to invest in the potential of our young people for a brighter future for Nigeria as a country.”.

Specifically, he extended an invitation to ‘un-galledried’ emerging Nigerian artists to submit applications for their participation in the international art exhibition, stressing that they stand to gain wide-reaching exposure that would enhance their works. “Un-galleried artists” typically refer to artists who don’t have representation or exhibition opportunities through traditional art galleries. These artists usually face challenges in gaining exposure and selling their creative work.”

Tola Akerele, Founder, Soto Gallery, stated that the maiden edition of this event takes the thematic direction of ‘A New Heritage’ and is designed to serve as a melting pot of artistic creativity from different strata of society.

According to her, the free entry fair aims to be an immersive showcase of painting, photography, and sculpture, providing the general public with a closer look at what emerging artists and photographers in Nigeria today are up to. “The exhibition’s title, ‘+234Art’, is an amalgam of Nigeria’s country’s calling code and the all-encompassing word, ‘Art’, indicating that this experience aims to be a thorough exposition of what Nigerian art looks like today, as well as how it interacts with the larger art community in Africa and beyond. Paintings and sculptures for display will be beautifully curated by local and international experts.”

She explained that the art fair will, among other things, seek to create a sustainable platform for young and emerging artists in the country and provide an opportunity to enhance skills and understanding of the industry through workshops that run concurrently with the art fair, adding that it would also showcase the talent of Nigerian art and encourage economic exchange by purchasing of art pieces while moving the artists into a better socio-economic class by giving them tools to earn locally, regionally and internationally

Ms. Akerele further highlighted other benefits of the exhibition as an avenue for cultural resonance, the discovery of emerging art talent, wealth creation, learning experiences, networking opportunities, and social impact. To submit your artwork, please send a mail to

Ecobank Nigeria, now a key driver of tourism, culture, and the creative industries in Nigeria, is behind the yearly Adire Lagos Experience and has also organized the Photography, Art, and Design Exhibition (PADE) to commemorate World Photography Day in 2022. The bank also partnered with “Songs & Stories” with Cobhams Asuquo, Redbull Dance Your Style, BellaNaija Style Summit, and Loosing Daylight (an exhibition of the history of Nollywood organised by Nse Ipke-Etim).

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