Njideka Akunyili Crosby, daughter of Former Nigerian minister, Dora Akunyili puts Nigeria on the map by being awarded the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship.

The Enugu native who now resides in California was described by the foundation as

“a figurative painter whose large-scale works express the hybridity characteristic of transnational experience through choices of subject matter, materials, and techniques.”

Akunyili Crosby mixes painting, drawing, photo transfer, printmaking and other materials to make art. In 2016, she discussed how she combines her study of European figurative painting at an art academy in combination with her traditional training to invent, transform, and express her uniquely hybrid point of view. Her art still depicts her inherent African roots despite her living and working in the United states.

She says she draws experience from her life as a cosmopolitan Nigerian woman who lives and works in the United States.

The MacArthur Fellowship, also referred to as the Genius Grant, awards $625,000 to artists, writers, teachers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and people from all works of life who have shown exceptional creativity.

Some of her works…




The grant is doled out in quarterly installments, made over a period of 5 years.

Amongst past recipients is writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who received the grant in 2008.

The 24 recipients of the 2017 MacArthur Fellowship were announced as:

  • Njideka Akunyili Crowsby – Painter
  • Sunil Amrith – Historian
  • Greg Asbed – Human Rights Strategist
  • Annie Baker – Playwright
  • Regina Barzilay – Computer Scientist
  • Dawoud Bey – Photographer and Educator
  • Emmanuel Candes – Mathematician and Statistician
  • Jason De Leon -Anthropologist
  • Rhiannon Giddens – Singer, Instrumentalist & Songwriter
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones – Journalist
  • Cristina Jimenez Moreta – Social Justice Organizer
  • Taylor Mac – Theater Artist
  • Ramir Nashashibi – Community Leader
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen – Fiction Writer & Culture Critic
  • Kate Orff – Landscape Architect
  • Trevor Paglen – Artist and Geographer
  • Betsy Levy Paluck – Psychologist
  • Derek Paterson – Historian
  • Damon Rich – Designer & Urban Planner
  • Stefan Savage – Computer Scientist
  • Yuval Sharon – Opera Director & Producer
  • Tyshawn Sorey – Composer & Musician
  • Gabriel Victora – Immunologist
  • Jesmyn Ward – Fiction Writer

Watch Njideka Akunyili Crosby discuss her work below:

video culled from: www.bellanaija.com

There are no comments

Add yours