Kehinde Wiley is launching a new multi-disciplinary artist residency project in Dakar, Senegal, called Black Rock Senegal after the volcanic rock ubiquitous on the Senegalese coastline. Of African heritage himself, Wiley was raised in LA but his father was from Lagos. In a statement, he said the creation of this project “Came out of a direct need to engage Africa in a much more personal way. After years of exploring the continent’s many cultures and countries I had a personal desire to create a workspace in West Africa. As an artist who works in the west I desired a space of renewal to explore new ideas and to create work outside of a western context—to create work within the context of my own lineage.”
Wiley credits the residency he undertook at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York as a formative part of his career, and hopes to in part offer similar services. According to Sean Kelly, who represents Wiley at his gallery in New York, “He traces his career back to that point today as the time that sparked the beginning of his professional career. This gives him the opportunity to give back and enfranchise younger artists.” Those accepted to the programme will receive board, lodging, a stipend and studio space for one to three months.
The project will run from June 2019 through January 2010. Applications for the programme are due by April 15th, and the selection of artists is expected to be announced in early May.