Arts & Design

How Yakno-Abasi Jessicah Won Next of Kin Series VI Art Prize


It’s no longer news that Yakno-Abasi Jessicah has emerged as the winner of Next of Kin (NOK) Series VI, securing the coveted prize of N500,000. This was indeed the biggest revelation that evening when the opening ceremony was held at The Thought Pyramid Art Centre in Ikoyi, Lagos.


Jessicah, an emerging Nigerian artist  with eyes on abstract realism has etched her name in history as the second female recipient of the prestigious Next of Kin Prize. The grant awarded to her is expected to help facilitate the preparation for a solo exhibition slated for next year.


Series 6, dubbed “The Continental Season,” kicked off in October last year, attracting submissions from both Nigerian artists and those residing in the diaspora. From a pool of talented contestants, including 16 Nigerian artists, 3 from Uganda, and 1 from Rwanda, Jessicah’s exceptional talent shone through, earning her the top spot.


The announcement marked a groundbreaking departure as it welcomed applications from international artists, fostering a diverse array of perspectives and creative expressions within the competition.


The Thought Pyramid Art Center, organisers of NOK in a press statement highlighted the importance of the competition; nurturing and mentorship opportunities for emerging artists at the critical early stages of their careers.  Past winners like Anthonia Nneji, Christian Allison, Ikechukwu Ezeigwe, Olalekan Adeyemi, and Idowu Emmanuel have gone on to make significant impacts in the local and international art scenes.


Ovie Omatsola, the Director and Coordinator of Next Of Kin emphasised the theme of “Renewed Hope,” underscoring the importance of hope in shaping lives. Artists were tasked with interpreting this theme through their works, resulting in a rich artistic expression.”We need hope because without hope we are nothing. We looked at the word Renewed Hope from the eyes of the artists and we judged the entries based on how they described the theme through their works. 


“The selected finalists explored the theme and interpreted it creatively and across various artistic media including sculptures, paintings and photography.”


The success of Next of Kin lies in its ability to unearth and support talents that possess unique originality paving the way for the future of Nigerian art.


The NOK Series 6 exhibition is now open to the public until April 30, 2024, offering art collectors and enthusiasts alike the opportunity to immerse themselves in the captivating world of emerging talent.




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