The Project Space, established in 2016 by Ugandan born artist Benon Lutaaya is a Non-profit organization centered on creating spaces and opportunities for female from the African continent and diaspora.
The organization was created in response to the 2010 National Research statistical data by the South African Department of Arts and Culture on visual arts, part of which indicated that only 12% of women make a living from creating art in South Africa. Of which; 9% were white and 3% were blacks, Indians and colored. The organization is focused towards improving opportunities for female artists across Africa. (National Research statistical data by the South African Department of Arts and Culture)
On a global level, the 2016 ArtReview Power 100 list indicated; 68 – 32% women (Artsy news), of the 32% of women, blacks counted for as little as 5% and only 3% of that were born in Africa. This list itself is a little skewed. It doesn’t specifically break down to how many African female artists are engaged in full time activity of creating to make a living and features curators, collectors, dealers, and artists in its statistics. Of the 400 works of art on the floors of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) only 14 are by women which totals to 3.5%. Out of the 137 artists only 11 of them are women. That’s 8 percent (New York Magazine)
There is massive gap within the industry and while the industry is developing the growth in percentage for female artists, particularly those of color remains slow. The Project Space through its programmes serves to address this gap, by providing mentorship residencies, access to networks and audiences specifically for female artists. In order to achieve this the organization works in partnership with other established local, and international arts development institutions through artistic cultural exchange programs and other projects as well as participating at major local and international Art Fairs.
Located within the heart of the Johannesburg City, The Project Space forms part of the Southern African Foundation for Contemporary Art (SAFFCA), creative and experimental platforms aimed at giving Art exposure through passion; to support, nurture and promote the Visual Arts and Artists of the African continent.
The Space lies within a dynamic, and creative August House community that houses over 50 emerging, mid-career and established artists, and extends to another uniquely integrated creative urban complex, the Victoria Yards
Our programmes include the Young Female Residency Award, the Women in Africa Residency and Women In Digital Arts Programme.
The Young Female Residency Award is an annual award dedicated to young South African female artists. The award aims to nurture and grow the practice of young female artists through the provision of residency and mentorship opportunities for the recipients, finalists and selected applicants.
The award winner receives a 6-month residency at The Project Space (Johannesburg), a 3-month residency with SAFFCA (Saint Emilion, France) and a solo exhibition in Johannesburg. Three finalists are also selected to exhibit alongside the recipient in selected exhibitions and receive professional practice mentorship.
The project space stand is proudly sponsored by the forum company.