|Adeyemi Olalekan's 'Ife II' (oil on canvas, 40" X 45", dated 2021).|
FROM 30 artworks on display by the 10 finalists inside the gallery space of of Thought Pyramid Art Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos, that of Adeyemi Olalekan won the Grand Prize of Next Of Kin Series-4 art completion and exhibition 2022.
A statement from Thought Pyramid noted that the originality, honesty, and intellectual investments of the ten finalists in their submissions could be attested to right from the first day opening of the grande finale. The gallery enthused that the red tags were visible on some of the artworks as "most of the phenomenal submissions were sold out before the month of March ends. But the show remains open to the public until April 2022."
After more than four months of waiting for the special moment, Sam Ovraiti announced the prize winner of Next Of Kin Series-4 winner. Adeyemi Olalekan was declared the main prize winner with a N500,000 (five hundred thousand Naira) prize.
The ten finalists: Adenitan Daniel, Olalekan Adeyemi Julius, Solomon Akinnire, Ademola Ojo, Chidinma Nwafor, Obeka Simon Edoh, Boluwatife Victoria Lawal, Falope Ibrahim Abiodun, Jiboku Segun Adebayo and Aladejare Ayodeji.
Unlike the previous series in 2019 when second and third runners-up were awarded cash while the 1st prize winner was given four weeks residency, Next Of Kin Series-4 reverted to a winner-takes-all approach that was established from the recent Series-3, in 2020. Therefore, Olalekan's N500,00 prize represents the total sum that Thought Pyramid Art Centre will spend on his one-month artist residency in May 2022 and a scheduled solo exhibition in September of this year.
“We decided on a main prize reward system to make this art competition and exhibition more competitive, ''Curator, Ovie Omatsola explained. “The remaining artists will apparently benefit from the competition through the purchase of their artworks as the gallery assures to buy the displayed art pieces from the participating finalists and all things being equal, they will be considered for possible project collaborations.”
Omatsola insisted that the gallery wanted the reward for the winner to be satisfying. He expressed gratitude to the sponsors of Next Of Kin Series-4'. “While words can not measure how grateful we are to our sponsors Trustbanc, which spearheaded the financing for the grand prize won by Olalekan, we also thank Nigeria Machine Tools for continuing to be our backbone on this project."
Fidelis Odowgu, Abinoro Collins, Steve Ekpenisi, Bob Nosa Uwagboe and Abu Momogima, among other established artists, were top guests with Ovraiti during the grand finale.