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LONDON, Jan. 22, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — BE OPEN Art, an online art gallery created by the BE OPEN think tank, is running a competition for emerging artists, aiming to support those whose art best represents their identities regional, cultural and ethnic – BE OPEN Regional Art.

Throughout 2023, the BE OPEN community of experts selected those artists who best represent the artistic tradition of a certain region to present them in the BE OPEN Art gallery and offer them greater visibility. In October, the focus of the contest shifted to Central Africa.

Every month in the last decade of 2023, works by 20 emerging artists from Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo – Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe were published in the online gallery for that the public could select their favorites.

According to public votes in October, November and December, Marcel Tchopwe, a young artist from Cameroon, Jean D’amour Imanishimwe from Rwanda and Edizon Musavuli, a hyperrealist painter from the Democratic Republic of Congo, became Artists of the Month.

This time, BE OPEN proudly invited Aidan Salakhova, a world-renowned artist, sculptor and gallery owner, to select the Artist from the Central African Region among the three monthly winners, and his choice was Marcel Tchopwe, a young artist born in Far North of Cameroon. Through his work, the artist tries to shed light on the insufficiency of university education in relation to the labor market of Cameroonian youth. The artist will now receive a grant of 500 euros from BE OPEN.

BE OPEN founder Elena Baturina also selected her favorite artist from the region: Laura Tolen, French and Cameroonian artist, graduated from the Paris School of Fine Arts in 2020. Laura’s work is mainly related to “how it is built and transmits memory, as well as its role in building intergenerational relationships within the family.” Working with old family photographs, the artist brings together several generations in “a semi-real and semi-fictional family story.”

Elena Baturina commented on the completion of the first year of the program: “During this year we have contacted hundreds of incredible emerging artists who helped us expand the BE OPEN Art map to new regions, cities and communities. We have worked hard to support their aspirations and help them with the difficulties they experience when trying to turn their passion for creativity into their profession. We also see great interest in cultural traditions and the visual representation of regional specificities and identities. That is why in 2024, BE “OPEN will explore four more regions with less developed art markets to offer our support to those who need it most and consider expanding the program even further in the coming years.”

The regional competition is held in parallel with the usual work of BE OPEN Art, whose experts select 20 new artists for the gallery every month and the public nominates the Artist of the Month and the Year.

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