When traveling to another country, some of the things you’d probably want to see are the famous sites and landmarks that tell the story and origins of that country. These may include: iconic buildings, natural wonders, museums, and of course, art galleries. There are many galleries in Africa that are dedicated to promoting contemporary African art. We’ve selected just a few that might be worth a visit if you feel like acquainting yourself with some extraordinary artworks by African artists.
OMENKA GALLERY, NIGERIA
Omenka Gallery houses impressive collections of contemporary art by a string of artists with unique and diverse styles. Representing a selection of emerging and prominent Nigerian and international artists, the gallery is a vital cog in the machine that is Nigeria’s contemporary art scene.
As one of the top galleries in the country, Omenka is home to an extensive collection of artworks by celebrated Nigerian painter and sculptor, Ben Enwounwu. It also houses the works of several African artists like Cedric Nunn (South Africa), Owusu-Ankomah (Ghana), and El Loko (Togo). Additionally, Omenka participates in major art events both on the continent and abroad, including the Art Dubai, the Joburg Art Fair, the Docks Art Fair in France, and Cologne Paper Art in Germany.
One of the major art galleries playing an integral role in promoting African art on an international scale, the Afriart Gallery is home to an outstanding collection of Ugandan and East African art. Founded in 2002, Afriart Gallery has exhibited hundreds of African artists whose work has been showcased on international stages. Some of these artists include Eria Nsubuga Sane, Daudi Karungi, and Edison Mugalu, who are all at the heart of Uganda’s burgeoning art scene.
In addition to exhibitions, Afriart offers impressive art consultancy and education programmes, and also runs an art shop that sells art books, statues, ceramics, recycle glassware, and traditional fabrics.
BANANA HILL ART GALLERY, KENYA
Located on the fringes of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, Banana Hill Art Gallery’s primary purpose is to showcase some of East Africa’s most spectacular paintings and sculptures, having exhibited countless artists from the region.
The gallery calls itself “The pearl among the art galleries in Nairobi,” and a trip to this Kenyan art heaven reveals why. The art pieces found here tell part of the story of Africa, seen through the eyes of African artists. You’ll find artworks that beautifully explore a range of topics such as daily life in Kenya’s urban and rural settings, its rich wildlife, and cultural traditions.
Apart from exhibitions, the gallery offers an online shop where you can get artworks by some of the continent’s top artists.