Bamako, Mali. Photo: Wikipedia.

Artist Amadou Sanogo Plans New Arts Center for Malian Emerging Artists

Malian artist Amadou Sanogo is working toward opening a new arts space in the country’s capital city, Bamako, that will support young artists. Represented by Magnin-A gallery in Paris, the painter has purchased two properties in the city’s Koulouba district and tapped the local architecture firm Edificare to design an approximately 6,350-square-foot center. Construction was set to begin in March, but the project has since stalled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dubbed Makoro, the venue will house studios for its artist-in-residence program, which will invite Malian artists between the ages of eighteen and thirty to utilize the space for two or three months, as well as an exhibition hall. The building will also be used for workshops for children, aged sixteen and under, who will be provided with bus transportation to and from their schools. Expected to cost nearly $620,000, the arts hub has received funding from the French oil company Total, as well as a number of local patrons, and aims to turn a profit from its restaurant and guesthouses. It is slated to open in 2022.

“My first ambition is to develop a spirit of tolerance to reconcile society, mainly among children, who are the key to Mali’s future, and that the workshops will awaken their consciousness,” Sanogo told the Art Newspaper. “I would like young artists to be better respected and be able to live from their profession, thereby improving their quality of life.” The artist has approached the country’s culture and education ministers about the government backing the project, which he believes will be vital to the community following the global health crisis.