Top 20 Art Residencies Africa | Zoma Contemporary Art Center
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Discover the top 20 summer artist residency programs in Africa that offer unique opportunities for growth, collaboration, and cultural exchange for both local and international artists. From Marrakech to Dar es Salaam, these residencies provide unparalleled experiences for creative individuals seeking inspiration and development in the vibrant art scene of Africa. They are not listed in any ranking order. 🙂 Also please note that the durations below are approximate and may vary depending on the specific program and the artist’s individual needs. It is always best to check with each residency program for their exact durations and any flexibility they may offer.

1. Queens Collective – Marrakech, Morocco

Queens Collective is a multidisciplinary artist residency in the heart of Marrakech. The program offers artists the opportunity to immerse themselves in Moroccan culture and collaborate with other creatives from around the world. Residencies typically last between one and three months, with participants provided accommodation, studio space, and access to local workshops and events.
Location & Duration of program: Marrakech, Morocco (1-3 months)

2. Nafasi Art Space – Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Nafasi Art Space, founded in 2008, is a vibrant hub for visual and performing artists in Dar es Salaam. The residency program offers artists from various disciplines the opportunity to collaborate, experiment, and engage with the local community. Residencies range from one to three months, with studio space, accommodation, and support for public engagement activities provided.
Location & Duration of program: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (1-3 months)

3. 32° East | Ugandan Arts Trust – Kampala, Uganda

32° East is a non-profit organization dedicated to the creation and exploration of contemporary Ugandan art. The residency program supports both local and international artists, offering workshops, mentorship, and opportunities for public engagement. Residencies last between four and twelve weeks and include studio space, accommodation, and access to the organization’s extensive network of local artists and resources.
Location & Duration of program: Kampala, Uganda (4-12 weeks)

4. Arthouse Foundation – Lagos, Nigeria

The Arthouse Foundation, launched in 2015, is an artist residency program in Lagos, Nigeria. The program provides artists with studio space, accommodation, and a stipend, along with opportunities to participate in public programs and exhibitions. Residencies last for three months and are open to artists working in various disciplines, including visual art, film, and performance.
Location & Duration of program: Lagos, Nigeria (3 months)

5. Bag Factory Artists’ Studios – Johannesburg, South Africa

Established in 1991, the Bag Factory is one of the oldest artist residency programs in Africa. The program offers studio space, mentorship, and networking opportunities for both local and international artists. Residencies last for three months and include accommodation, a stipend, and the opportunity to participate in public events and exhibitions.
Location & Duration of program: Johannesburg, South Africa (3 months)

6. Gasworks – Luanda, Angola

The Angolan residency program at Gasworks, in partnership with the Triangle Network, focuses on promoting emerging Angolan artists. Participants receive studio space, accommodation, and professional development support, as well as opportunities to engage with the local community. Residencies last for three months, with both local and international artists invited to apply.
Location & Duration of program: Luanda, Angola (3 months)

7. Kuona Trust – Nairobi, Kenya

Kuona Trust is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting contemporary visual art in Kenya. The residency program supports local and international artists, providing studio space, mentorship, and public engagement opportunities. Residencies last between one and three months and include accommodation, access to workshops and events, and opportunities to collaborate with the local artistic community.
Location & Duration of program: Nairobi, Kenya (1-3 months)

8. Thread – Sinthian, Senegal

Thread is an artist residency program in the rural village of Sinthian, established by the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in partnership with the local community. The program promotes cross-cultural exchange and collaboration between artists and the local population, with a focus on sustainable development and community empowerment. Residencies last for up to two months, with artists provided accommodation, studio space, and the opportunity to engage in community projects.
Location & Duration of program: Sinthian, Senegal (up to 2 months)

9. The Nirox Foundation – Cradle of Humankind, South Africa

The Nirox Foundation is an artist residency program located within the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cradle of Humankind, near Johannesburg. The program offers a serene environment for artists to focus on their work while being surrounded by the beauty of nature. Residencies last between one and three months, with artists provided accommodation, studio space, and opportunities to participate in public exhibitions and events.
Location & Duration of program: Cradle of Humankind, South Africa (1-3 months)

Top 20 Art Residencies Africa | The Nirox Foundation
Top 20 Art Residencies Africa | The Nirox Foundation

10. Villa Lena – Tuscany, Italy & Marrakech, Morocco

Villa Lena offers artist residency programs in both Tuscany, Italy, and Marrakech, Morocco. The Marrakech residency focuses on cross-cultural exchange, collaboration, and exploration of the rich cultural heritage of the region. Residencies last for six weeks and include accommodation, studio space, and access to workshops and local resources.
Location & Duration of program: Tuscany, Italy & Marrakech, Morocco (6 weeks)

11. Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) – Lagos, Nigeria

The Centre for Contemporary Art in Lagos, Nigeria, offers a residency program that supports artists working in various disciplines, including visual arts, photography, and curatorial practice. The program lasts for three months and provides artists with accommodation, studio space, mentorship, and opportunities for public engagement.
Location & Duration of program: Lagos, Nigeria (3 months)

12. Greatmore Studios – Cape Town, South Africa

Greatmore Studios is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the development of visual artists in South Africa. The residency program offers studio space, accommodation, and access to workshops and exhibitions. Residencies last between one and three months and are open to both local and international artists.
Location & Duration of program: Cape Town, South Africa (1-3 months)

13. Tropic Air Artist Residency – Kenya

The Tropic Air Artist Residency, located in the stunning landscape of northern Kenya, offers artists a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the region’s natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. The program lasts for one month and provides artists with accommodation, studio space, and opportunities for cultural exchange with local communities.
Location & Duration of program: Kenya (1 month)

14. Green Olive Arts – Tetouan, Morocco

Green Olive Arts is an artist residency program based in the historic city of Tetouan, Morocco. The program offers artists from various disciplines the opportunity to collaborate, learn, and explore the local art scene. Residencies last between two and eight weeks and include accommodation, studio space, and access to local resources and events.
Location & Duration of program: Tetouan, Morocco (2-8 weeks)

15. The Art House – Harare, Zimbabwe

The Art House is a vibrant artist residency program located in Harare, Zimbabwe. The program offers a supportive environment for artists to develop their work, collaborate with other creatives, and engage with the local community. Residencies last for three months and include accommodation, studio space, and mentorship opportunities.
Location & Duration of program: Harare, Zimbabwe (3 months)

16. Thamgidi Foundation – Windhoek, Namibia

The Thamgidi Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports the development of contemporary African art. The artist residency program in Windhoek, Namibia, provides artists with accommodation, studio space, and opportunities for public engagement. Residencies last between one and three months and are open to both local and international artists.
Location & Duration of program: Windhoek, Namibia (1-3 months)

17. Zoma Contemporary Art Center – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Zoma Contemporary Art Center is a multidisciplinary artist residency program based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The program offers artists the opportunity to collaborate, experiment, and engage with the local community. Residencies last between one and three months and include studio space, accommodation, and support for public engagement activities.
Location & Duration of program: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (1-3 months)

Top 20 Art Residencies Africa | Zoma Contemporary Art Center
Top 20 Art Residencies Africa | Zoma Contemporary Art Center

18. Asiko International Art School and Residency – Accra, Ghana

Asiko International Art School and Residency is a six-week intensive program that takes place in a different African city each year. The program offers artists the opportunity to engage in workshops, seminars, and exhibitions, while also exploring the local art scene. Participants are provided with accommodation, studio space, and access to local resources and events.
Location & Duration of program: Accra, Ghana (6 weeks)

19. The Artists’ Co-operative Residency and Exhibitions (ACRE) – Alexandria, Egypt

The Artists’ Co-operative Residency and Exhibitions (ACRE) is a multidisciplinary artist residency program based in Alexandria, Egypt. The program offers artists the opportunity to collaborate, experiment, and engage with the local community. Residencies last between one and three months and include studio space, accommodation, and support for public engagement activities.
Location & Duration of program: Alexandria, Egypt (1-3 months)

20. Taba Dale Artist Residency – Lusaka, Zambia

Taba Dale Artist Residency, located in Lusaka, Zambia, offers artists a serene environment to focus on their work while being surrounded by the beauty of nature. The program is open to both local and international artists, providing them with accommodation, studio space, and opportunities to collaborate with the local artistic community. Residencies last between one and three months.
Location & Duration of program: Lusaka, Zambia (1-3 months)

Frequently Asked Questions

Are artist residencies worth it?

Yes, artist residencies can be incredibly beneficial for artists. They provide a supportive environment for creative exploration, skill development, and networking with other artists. Additionally, residencies often offer unique cultural experiences that can inspire new ideas and artistic growth.

Is it hard to get an artist residency?

Securing an artist residency can be competitive, as many programs receive numerous applications each year. However, with careful research and a well-prepared application, artists can increase their chances of being accepted into a residency program that aligns with their artistic goals and interests.

What is the open call for artist 2023?

Open calls for artist residencies in 2023 will vary depending on the specific program and location. It is essential to research each residency’s application process and deadlines to ensure you don’t miss any opportunities. Many residencies have websites and social media accounts where they post open call announcements and application details.

Why are artists doing residencies?

Artists participate in residencies for various reasons, including the opportunity to focus on their work without the distractions of daily life, connect with other artists, and explore new cultures and environments. Residencies can provide valuable experiences that contribute to an artist’s personal and professional development, helping them grow and evolve in their creative practice.

Dr. Abigail Adeyemi, art historian, curator, and writer with over two decades of experience in the field of African and diasporic art. She holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Oxford, where her research focused on contemporary African artists and their impact on the global art scene. Dr. Adeyemi has worked with various prestigious art institutions, including the Tate Modern and the National Museum of African Art, curating numerous exhibitions that showcase the diverse talents of African and diasporic artists. She has authored several books and articles on African art, shedding light on the rich artistic heritage of the continent and the challenges faced by contemporary African artists. Dr. Adeyemi's expertise and passion for African art make her an authoritative voice on the subject, and her work continues to inspire and inform both scholars and art enthusiasts alike.

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