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40 Under 40 Africa

Tokini Peterside

28 September 2020

Founder and CEO, Art X Collective, Lagos

Tokini Peterside launched ART X Lagos in 2016. It’s the first international art fair in West Africa, committed to growing the collector base in Nigeria and the wider region and broadening public awareness of the visual arts. Since its inaugural edition, the fair has doubled in size, and now counts among its visitors curators from a number of international museums – among them Tate Modern, which brought 30 of its patrons to the 2019 edition – drawn by an exhibitor list that includes most of the leading galleries dedicated to art from Africa and its diaspora. There are other draws, too. More than a marketplace, the fair has something of a festival vibe, with a music programme, Art X Live, that features both celebrated and emerging performing artists from Nigeria. Peterside and her company, Art X Collective, are clearly held in high esteem: in 2018, it mounted an exhibition of Nigerian art at the New Afrika Shrine in Ikeja, to honour the first official visit of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, to Lagos.

Peterside started out in luxury brand management, before launching her own consultancy in 2012. Less than a decade on, she has become one of the leading cultural entrepreneurs in West Africa, named one of 30 Quartz Africa Innovators in 2018. She sits on the board of Yinka Shonibare’s Guest Artists Space (G.A.S.) Foundation, which is preparing to launch an artist residency programme in Nigeria.

Read Samuel Reilly’s interview with Tokini Peterside here

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