Africa’s First Art Prize For Women: The Yaa Asantewaa Art Prize, Who Can Apply And How To Apply

Tiffany Alfonseca, Yo Soy La Que Mando (Detail), 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery 1957

Named after the prominent Ghanaian queen, the prize launch coincides with Gallery 1957’s 5th anniversary celebrations, and aims to further strengthen our commitment to supporting and promoting emerging and established artists across Ghana and the diaspora.

The inaugural art prize is open exclusively to Ghanaian women and self identifying women artists either living in Ghana or across its diaspora. In the future, we look forward to expanding the prize to include all African and African diaspora identifying artists. The prize will award GH₵40,000 alongside an artist residency and exhibition at Gallery 1957 in 2021, to one winner. A second and third prize of GH₵20,000 and GH₵15,000 will be offered to runners up. Applications close on 31 May 2021, with a winner announced in August 2021.

The winner is chosen by a jury of international experts including artists, curators, and arts writers. The jurors for the inaugural 2021 prize are:

Afua Hirsch, Writer and broadcaster

Amoako Boafo, Artist

Charlotte Newman, Collector

Ibrahim Mahama, Artist and founder of the SCCA

Marwan Zakhem, Director, Gallery 1957

Touria El Glaoui, Founder 1-54

Zoe Whitley, Director, Chisenhale Gallery

Marwan Zakhem, Founder of Gallery 1957, commented:

‘Listening and working closely to our local community, we have identified a need to support particularly women artists in Ghana. In creating The Yaa Asantewaa Art Prize, we hope to offer a way in which to address the lack of existing support for women and women identifying artists in the country, and its diaspora. Beyond the financial support, the goal is to give participating shortlisted artists a platform for their work, and exposure worldwide.’

Prize judge Afua Hirsch, commented:

‘Ghana has a remarkable history of artistic genius, but there is still so much to do to centre Ghanaian creatives and their work so that their contribution is recognised and their future supported. It’s a real honour to be part of this project to particularly showcase women artists in Ghana. I’m looking forward to working with Gallery 1957 in its important work of supporting Ghana’s richly diverse and collaborative arts scene, and launching this arts prize for women, the first of its kind on the continent.’


Entries for the 2021 Yaa Asantewaa Art Prize are now open and close on 31 May 2021. The Yaa Asantewaa Art Prize is open to all women and self-identifying women artists, based in Ghana and the Ghanaian diaspora. All applicants must send through an artist statement and biography as well as three accompanying jpegs in high resolution of recent work produced after January 2020. All applications should be submitted to: [email protected]

First Prize


Plus Social Media/Digital Marketing; 4 months artists residency (which includes artist studio, art materials, stipend, and accommodations); A solo show at Gallery1957 will follow the residency.

Second Prize


Social Media/Digital Marketing

Third Prize


Social Media/Digital Marketing

Winners of The Yaa Asantewaa Art Prize 2021 will be announced August 2021. All applications should be submitted to: [email protected]

Source: Gallery 1957

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