The African Artists Foundation (AAF) based in Lagos was founded in 2007 by Azu Nwagbogu to promote Art and Artists. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting contemporary art in Africa and it has an exhibition gallery located on Lagos Island. Azu Nwagbogu is founder and director of the African Artists’ Foundation and Lagos Photo Festival an annual international arts festival of photography.
The foundation serves a role in the world of art and organizing and educating young artists by providing much needed assistance and a platform that encourages artistry and creativity amongst young upcoming artists and old artists. The African Artists Foundation hosts a couple of yearly events, art exhibitions; festivals, workshops, competitions and residencies such as the Lagos photo Festival which began in 2010 the only international arts festival of photography in Nigeria; the Youth Empowerment through Contemporary Art (YECA); Capacity Development Integration (CDI); Art Based Africa (ABA) and many others.
The Lagos Photo Festival is one of the yearly events hosted by the African Artists Foundation, it is internationally recognized. The festival includes workshops, exhibitions, artist presentations and discussions. Large scale outdoor prints are displayed throughout the month of the festival. The festival brings leading local and international photographers into dialogue. The Selphy street photography is held in partnership with Canon photography exploring street art through photographs in a workshop that will teach students the basic rules of photography and also the rules of street photography. It also includes taking students into the streets to practice their gained photography skills and knowledge.
The National Art Foundation Competition was founded in 2008 by the African Artists Foundation. It is an annual arts competition that aims to showcase African art and emerging African artists with their original works. There was also a segment dedicated to children which held in 2015 where cash prizes were given out to winners. The African Artists Foundation also has a special platform for Female Artists called the Female Artists’ Platform where female artists can submit their works for a chance to be exhibited, this encourages young upcoming female artists to spread their wings in the world of Art.
The foundation works with other foundations to create events that promote creativity such as the Lagos photo foundation and Rush gallery collaboration to promote visual culture of Africa through people and art. Also the foundation launched a platform to promote art and health to the overall benefit of the people of Africa.
The African Artists Foundation Gallery is a jewel sitting amidst the chaos of Lagos. It is a space dedicated to the showcase of African Art showing how it transcends and vary from artist to artist. The Ambience is calm and the doors of this gallery is open to film screening, art exhibitions, book readings and small book launching, signing parties and so on. There is also an open house for art lovers to visit and explore the gallery that houses a lot of beautiful pieces by very amazingly talented artists.
The promotion of Art by the African Artists Foundation has put Nigeria in the art scene both locally and internationally promoting indigenous artistry and originality.