A Review of Nubuke Foundation, The Center of Ghana’s Modern Art Society

Ghanaians are a proud people. The easiest way to see that is in how much they value cultural and artistic expression, and their dedication to the celebration of both, locally and in the diaspora.

A fruit of that dedication is the Nubuke Foundation. Sitting centrally in the capital city of Accra on the country’s southern coast of the Atlantic, the Nubuke Centre is a vital artery for Ghana’s vibrant art and creativity scene. Its primary purpose is preserving, recording, and promoting contemporary arts and culture in Ghana, utilizing art exhibitions, book readings, art talks, film screenings, performances, seminars, and workshops.

In 2016, it was awarded the Tourist Attraction of the Year by the Ghana Tourist Authority (Greater Accra Region). It is easy to see why: Its exhibitions and events are enjoyed by large crowds that troop in from far and wide, and its daily attractions, which include a multi-faceted art gallery, and a gift shop that offers commercial art and giftable items,  ensure there’s always a good reason to visit at any time.

Physical Features

The brutalist architecture. I like brutalist architecture, and this one – designed by architects Baerbel Mueller and Juergen Strohmayer in 2019 – lends itself to the credibly modernist soul of this contemporary art institution. There is something tasteful, raw and solid about viewing paintings hung over unpainted concrete. Still, the contrast between warm living art and cold structure is…well, striking. The iconic building structure, which extends itself in the middle of a carefully kept outdoor space, ties brilliantly into the foundation’s logo, a flatly rectangular “n” stretched out.

A glance at the foundation’s Google Maps information reveals the top attractions visitors have noticed: the architecture, the paintings, the artists, and the “experience”, ostensibly of the events, programmes and exhibitions. No surprises there.

https://maps.app.goo.gl/4zVrAz7WdX6M5znS8

The foundation has a new art gallery, commercial art and gift shop, a co-working space, an artist residency, a studio space, and a library.

Value to its community

This goes without saying really. The foundation explores all imaginable avenues to provide value to the community around it. Events and workshops are frequently held to benefit high school students, who can be seen milling around the grounds in their bright uniforms, taking in the best of contemporary art by artists of veritable standing, and learning a few things as well. This month, the foundation announced it was exhibiting works from a 2-day training workshop with students from the Wa Methodist School of the Blind at the 1-54 London Contemporary African Art Fair.

Furthermore, Nubuke Foundation runs a programme for young Ghanaian artists, appropriately called the Young Ghanaian Artist Programme, aimed at making the best of the artistic practices of Ghana’s emerging and established contemporary artists.

What you can see right now

The Foundation is currently presenting “Eidos” by the pen and paint artist Afi Kodjobi, which tells of the layers of her identity through a collection of impeccable black-line pieces. Although the exhibition opened nearly a month ago, you can still view it for a few days, as it is scheduled to last till the 28 of October.

They are open Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 in the morning till 5 at noon.

Open Role

The Foundation is taking applications for residency. Artists, designers, curators, scholars, writers, or other creatives may apply. More information here.

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Angry at the modern world for my own lack of taste.

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