Established in 2020, the Noldor Artist Residency is an annual four-week program based in Accra, Ghana. Founded by contemporary African art specialist, social entrepreneur and philanthropist Joseph Awuah-Darko, the residency invites one emerging African artist, technically trained and with limited access to artistic resources, to expand on his practice in a dedicated studio space and retreat.
Ghana’s first independent residency program, Noldor is committed to nurturing African artists’ creative process, while acting as a pillar for their introduction and development within a flourishing local subculture and global contemporary art scene.
Noldor unfolds across two distinct spaces. For the first three weeks, the artist resides and creates in a large-scale warehouse studio space located in Accra’s seaside La district. The final week takes place in a secluded space in the periphery of central Accra, an alternative psychological retreat where he receives personal, professional and creative guidance. Through its unconventional format, Noldor advances an organic, holistic approach to creation – one where emotional health nourishes an artist’s creative process.
Running each Fall and with its first iteration launched in November 2020, Noldor invites its residents to produce a portfolio of works which are ultimately exhibited within the warehouse space and subsequently brought to global audiences through partnerships with international galleries.
Deeply informed by the Ghanaian sociocultural context, both locally attuned and globally minded, Noldor is envisioned as both a participant in and catalyst to the emergence of a striving local subculture. More than a space for creative development, the residency works hand-in-hand with other cultural outlets, both public and private. An independent institutional space, it contributes to fostering and growing an aspiring local ecosystem where artists, museums and art galleries meet.
Paired with its profound curatorial concern, it emerges as a commercially aware residency program: one actively looking to both support the longevity of its artists’ careers within a competitive art market and strengthen a growing local collectorship. Finally, Noldor affirms its educational role, offering learning opportunities for both participants and local audiences and engaged in altering local perceptions of and access to both contemporary art and psychological health.