UTA Artist Space presents The Sound of Our Souls, an exhibition curated by Adora Mba, Founder and Director of ADA Contemporary Art Gallery based in Accra, Ghana. This exhibition is an extension of UTA Artist Space Beverly Hills’ ongoing mission to provide a platform for paradigm-shifting gallerists who may not have a physical presence in Los Angeles.
The Sound of Our Souls is comprised of 15 emerging artists from the African continent, all showing in California for the first time. At a time when the international gaze is excitedly looking upon these young creative talents, the exhibition aims to present their proud and unapologetic voices and stories. The Sound of Our Souls wants us to question what is beyond the canvas. What is the artist’s story? Who are they beyond the paint and their craft? What do they wish to share and impart? It is a vulnerable task for
those who dare to create. So now that they have been seen, they demand to be heard and understood,” said Adora Mba, Curator and Founder and Director of ADA Contemporary Art Gallery based in Accra, Ghana.
A complete list of exhibiting artists includes Ayobola Kekere-Ekun, Barry Yusufu, Boluwatife Oyediran, Deborah Segun, Eniwaye Oluwaseyi, Emeka Maduka, Ekene Abdur Rahman Muhammad, Gabriel Tendai Choto, Isaac Nana Akwasi Opoku, Ishmael Armah, Khia Poitier, Ousmane Bâ, Samuel Olayombo, Youssra Raouchi, and Zandile Tshabalala.
As a Nigerian-Ghanaian raised in London, Accra, and Lagos; Adora Mba spent her formative years cultivating a dialogue between her African roots and British education. Her extensive travels across the continent and internationally to Europe, Asia, and the United States, led her to develop a keen interest in contemporary art. At a time when the African art scene was seldom exposed, she soon grew aware of the local creative industry’s undiscovered yet considerable potential to resonate with a global audience. An art advisor, collector and writer, Adora’s experience working in Africa’s creative industry has nurtured her expertise and discerning perspective on the continent’s artistic scene and associated market. Upon completing her Masters Degree at Columbia University, NY, she started her career in cultural journalism with a focus on African arts & culture (ARISE News, BBC Africa, TRACE, True Africa). Adora then moved on to work in public relations supporting contemporary artists in the UK and US. In 2017, she launched The Afropolitan Collector, an art advisory platform specialized in the acquisition, cultivation, and promotion of contemporary art and design from Africa and its global diasporas. In parallel, Adora introduced The Collector Series, an initiative bringing together global collectors of contemporary African art eager to uncover new talent on the continent. Having relocated to Ghana, Adora acted as art consultant for various actors of the cultural sector, including from the Ghana Ministry of Culture, Ghana’s Creative Arts Council and Adjaye Associates while supporting and promoting artists at their career infancy. Working with a range of clients and art organizations from government and non-profit, to auction houses, museums, galleries, and independent artists, she witnessed a striving yet bounded local artistic scene and market, lacking the infrastructure necessary to achieve its full potential. Born out of a necessity to respond to this need and her individual desire to support the artists who had inspired, and continued to, inspire her, Adora founded the ADA contemporary art gallery in 2020.
Based in Accra, Ghana, ADA \ contemporary art gallery specializes in the work of emerging artists across Africa and its diaspora. Established in 2020 by contemporary African art advisor Adora Mba, ADA is committed to nurturing Ghana and the continent’s contemporary art community and to fostering its ties and influence amongst global audiences. Highlighting individual early career artistic practices, the gallery’s program includes dedicated solo exhibitions; off-site projects and exhibitions; site-specific commissions; talks; creative partnerships and philanthropic activities with local actors; and international art fairs. Each exhibition also extends online, complementing the physical experience with a multifaceted digital immersion into each artist’s personal practice. In parallel, ADA will develop a residency program, bringing together a local Ghanaian artist and an international artist whose practice is rooted in Africa and its legacy. Cultivating a dialogue between the local and the international artists, the residency is a manifest to ADA’s engagement in strengthening these ties and to establishing Ghana’s emerging artistic scene and market internationally.
Since the establishment of its flagship Beverly Hills location in 2018, UTA Artist Space has been committed to showcasing art by globally recognized talent. With the opening of a new Atlanta office and gallery in spring 2023, UTA Artist Space has expanded its impressive vision and reach across the United States. Over the past few years, the gallery’s original location has presented notable exhibitions with interdisciplinary artists and creatives, including The Estate of Ernie Barnes, Enrique Martínez Celaya, Mandy El-Sayegh, Nicholas Kontaxis, Arcmanoro Niles, Ferrari Sheppard, and more. UTA presented a series of pop-up exhibitions at Atlanta’s historic Pullman Yards before inaugurating its permanent gallery space in March 2023 with a solo exhibition by Lonnie Holley.
UTA Artist Space, Beverly Hills
403 Foothill Road
10am-5pm Tuesday through Friday and 11am-4pm on Saturday