Eighteen women shaping the Nigerian visual arts
The ratio of male to female artists in Nigeria is strongly imbalanced in favour of men. In art schools, men are a majority of faculty members. Among art collectors, the inequality is even stronger. These are incontrovertible facts.
But, the overall picture is more nuanced than that. Using economic terms, it is reasonable to say that art production and consumption are dominated by men. But this is not wholly the case in what refers to the interpretation and dissemination of art in Nigeria. More often than not, the person between the artist and the collector is a woman. I list below some of the most active and influential ones.
A caveat: this list is NOT a ranking –they are mentioned alphabetically-; it does not aim at being comprehensive and it does not include artists and collectors (I intend to prepare a post exclusively on female artists and later on, one on Nigerian collectors).
I am aware of the risk of listing together persons with such diverse levels of experience and influence on the visual arts, but I think doing it can be of use to those not very well acquainted with the Nigerian art scene. The “insiders” already know well who is who and who does what. For the rest, I hope this list helps them get a glimpse of the breadth and depth of the Nigerian artworld and the important role women play in it.