AWARD CATEGORY

INFLUENTIAL ARTIST

ISAAC CHUKWU UDEH

Isaac Udeh does his painting upside down and in puzzles. His audience is always blown away with the outcome. He captures his audience’s full attention in the 5-7 minutes that it takes him.

Chukwu is profiled by Ghanaian bloggers and journalists as the fastest youngest performance painter. He has exhibited his painting skills at numerous events like the Ghana Banking Awards 2016/2017, Ghana meets Naija (2017) and has painted numerous personalities such as Bola Ray, Late Ex-Vice President Amissah Arthur and a lot more

Isaac often tries his best to supply the less deprived schools with stationary and necessities to help the students/kids in the localities. He also paints some of the building with interesting children mural paintings that make the environment a conducive place for teaching and learning. He usually also joins the kids to teach some basic drawing and producing of doddle arts to boost their creativity. He has always had the heart to give back to society through his art and has a team of friends who believe in the vision of impacting into others.

ISSHAQ ISMAIL

Isshaq Ismail is a versatile painter who works with a variety of media and techniques to spark a renaissance of contemporary African Art. In the scope of his aesthetic strategies, he creates grotesque figures and textures in his paintings. Art that refines discarded materials and layering of paint. Isshaq Ismail was Born 1989 in Accra, Ghana, where he Lives and Works.

In 2015 and 2016 he was shortlisted as one of the top ten finalists in Ghana for the Kuenyehia Art prize for Contemporary Ghanaian Arts. That same year he was chosen as one of the Top 100 finalists at the Barclays L’Artelier Art competition, which was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, Showing one painting: ‘Imperfections’

Ismail’s works are a conversation on place and identity. Taking inspiration from his hometown of Accra, Ismail’s work deals with the social and political realities of living in this dynamic 21st century and how those realities ultimately impact one’s Identity.

KWESI BOTCHWAY

Kwesi Botchway is a self-impressionist portrait and figuration artist. Born in Nima, a suburb of Accra he studied at the Ghanatta College of Art & Design, Goethe Institute. He is also the founder of Worldfaze Art Studio.

Kwesi depicts in compelling figurative portrait paintings from different generations with a focal point of the eyes, nose, and mouth which is where emotions are best portrayed. He also believes in the visual experience of one another’s feelings; an exchange of information without using words. His work compels the viewer to become physically and emotionally invested in the subject’s story.

Kwesi aims to celebrate, capture the spirit, essence, and heritage of his subjects and use it as an opportunity to lend the world a glance into the lives and struggles of people whose stories are yet to be fully told

In 2018 his Age of no return series, launched in Denmark at the Hos Oona Galleri and Sundhed, gained massive media appeal and was documented by Reuters together with Ablade Glover to share insights about the series.

Kwesi’s Nokofio Heroes series which talks about vulnerable children in Ghana was selected by the Artist Alliance Gallery to exhibit for Prince Charles of Wales visit to Ghana at the James town cafe.

Kwesi Botchway works is collected worldwide. Kwesi has also worked with high profile personalities such as Rev.Jean Marie Speich and Rocky Dawuni, a Grammy Award Nominee, of a single music cover titled Modern man remix featuring Daniele Gaudi.

LESLEY KAFUI SEMACKOR

Lesley Kafui Semackor is a freelance artist who specializes in textile design, drawing, painting, and shading of interesting scenes and portraits. He hails from Volta Region of Ghana. He completed his Junior High School education in the year 2008 and went on to attend Senior High School at the Aggrey Memorial Senior High located in Cape-Coast.

He pursued a Visual Art course and specialized in Picture – making and Ceramics. He later furthered his education at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, where he graduated with first-class honors in Industrial art in 2015. After graduating from the University, he worked as a Teaching Assistant in the Textile section of the Industrial Art for a year. Subsequently, he joined various institutions where he contributed towards the improvement of artistic creativity in children.

Mr. Semackor gains his inspiration from other artists, people, and places. He hopes to achieve his long – term dream of being a globally acclaimed artist, as he continues to exhibit his artworks on various platforms.

MOHAMMED AWUDU

Mohammed Awudu had a passion for arts at a tender age of 11, under the tutelage of a studio street artist known as Mozzay. After Junior High School, he enrolled in the Amibs Art and Design Academy where he obtained a Certificate in Art and Design.

He started with the musical group VIP, as their background designer for their music video – One More Time. Mohammed began to boldly express his thoughts and opinions on T-shirts which was worn by artists. He subsequently decided to use this medium to change the perception of his community Nima, by creating branded T-Shirts with inscriptions such as: “The University of Nima”, “King of Nima”, “I am Nima” and more to inspire and encourage residents to be proud of the neighborhood.

Mohammed had his big break in 2012 when he collaborated with the Foundation for Contemporary Art and other international artists to execute the Tabom Graffiti Art Project at the Brazil House, Accra. He was part of the annual Chalewote Street Art Festival Aside painting, Mohammed believes in giving back to society through mentorship. This initiative has seen a number of children off the streets and engaged in productive activities like painting.

ALBERT DORGBADZI (PENCILMASTER)

Born in Accra, Albert Dorgbadzi studied Computer Engineering at the University of Ghana, Legon.

Albert believes he has always had a natural advantage in art, as it is his God-given talent; from childhood, he would make sketches and illustrations of anything that catches his eye in the environment. Albert’s interest in the genre of pencil portraiture was sparked in 2010 when he came across some brilliant sketches his dad had made in his youthful days. From that instant, he knew he had it in him.

Albert would make portrait drawings and post photos of them on his Facebook profile and the positive feedback from the masses was overwhelming, as were the doubts. Most people didn’t believe they were drawings until they saw processes of him drawing. Presently, he has gained nine years of experience in his genre and is very proud to have gained international recognition over the years. He intends to pursue it full-time, drawing creative inspiration from the works of other great artists and from his quest to put Ghana on the globe.

SERGE ATTUKWEI CLOTTEY

Clottey’s contemporary art practice is a clear example of self-organization and a role model. He uses his art practice as a catalyst that drives positive change in his township by creating jobs for at-risk and vulnerable youths and by exploring ways to improve the welfare of the local community.

He has been successful in stimulating youths’ interests for the arts as a way out of adversity and urban poverty. He employs 15 youth on a full-time basis and over 100 community members on a part-time/contracted project basis as well as for activities associated with the performing arts by his GoLokal collective.

Marwan Zakhem, founder of Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana) regards Clottey so highly and believes he is one of the most talented artists around.
Clottey opened Zakhem’s Accra art space in March 2016 with an exhibition of his body of work, My Mother’s Wardrobe, and then went on to dedicate the gallery’s booth at London’s 1:54 art fair in October 2016 to his solo offering too. “Clottey’s work is closely tied to issues of politics and culture in Ghana, and has been integral to promoting the contemporary art scene both within, and outside of, the country.”

CALEB NII ODARTEY ARYEE

Caleb Aryee sees photography as a means of communication which is his first approach to storytelling. Growing up during an era where black skin models weren’t equally represented in fashion magazines and the ‘standard’ for beauty being light skinned, he took it upon himself to represent African’s community in the ‘good light’.

Caleb studied Graphic Design at IPMC, a course at the National Film and Television Institute and taught himself 3D Graphics. He taught at a Media School and also Volunteered at Nima Muhimanchi Art, teaching film making to primary children.

Caleb worked in Advertising for 3 years as a Graphic and 3D Artist before finally deciding to work as a Full-Time Photographer and Film Maker projecting the African in good light and communicating societal issues. His work has touched on issues ranging from Economic Migration, Child Labour & Education, Breast Cancer Awareness & Domestic and Sexual Violence against Women.

He exhibited for the 5-year celebration of the life of the Former Vice President of Ghana (Late. H.E. Aliu Mahama), 2018 Chale Wote Street Art Festival, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women for the French Embassy, Ghana and Catharsis for The Kuenyehia Contemporary Art Institute.

PRINCE GYASI

Colors are an essential element in Gyasi’s work. His vivid hues are more than aesthetically appealing because for him; “color can serve as therapy, it can treat depression and transform emotions.”

The uniqueness of the 23-year-old forthright artist has always been drawn to the visual arts. From an early age, Prince was exposed to photography, color, and composition, when his mother went fabric shopping at Makola Market where she would drop him off at a photographer’s small studio.” So in high school, Prince began experimenting with art photography, capturing images of the world around him using his cellphone and continues to do so.

Prince is also the co-founder of BoxedKids, “kids who are trapped in a place or situation,” to help underprivileged children from Jamestown, Accra. Prince has collaborated with kids from this area, setting up funds for their education.

Prince was signed to Nil Gallery Paris in 2018 and held a solo show at the gallery in November 2018. His work has also been exhibited at the Seattle Art Fair 2018, the Pulse Miami Beach Contemporary art fair, and the Investec Cape Town art fair. In December.

KWAME AKOTO-BAMFO

Kwame Akoto Bamfo has been a Lecturer at Radford University College (acting head of department) for 4 academic years. He is also a Board member for Takoradi Technical University Sculpture Department. Kwame is inspired by African history, heritage, and contemporary culture. Amongst other things he mostly considers his work as not just art but a medium for education and empowerment.

Kwame is the founder of the following organizations: Osramba, Nkyinkyim Za, creative communal labor biennial festival 2019, Ancestor Project, patron of the Nuhalenya Primary school, and is a Patron of Access Aid Ghana, a non-profit that promotes accessibility for people living with disability and the aged.

The creator of Nkyinkyim installation; that seeks to use 11,111 sculptures to narrate African history/heritage. He was invited by the Equal Justice Initiative to build sculptures of African slaves at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which is dedicated to the victims of lynching in America. The memorial, along with the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, opened in 2018 in Montgomery, Ala.

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