Senegal to Host First Artist Residency in Rural Africa

The THREAD artist residency is scheduled to open in March 2015 Photo: THREAD

The village of Sinthian, situated in south-eastern Senegal, will host an artist residency and cultural center in rural Africa. The project, entitled THREAD, is scheduled to open in March 2015.

The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, which funded and conceived the project, collaborated with local leaders with the aim of attracting artists from around the world to find inspiration in the unique west African countryside, and to foster a cross-cultural exchange of ideas.

In a statement, Nicholas Fox Weber, Director of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation said, “When Josef and Anni Albers created the Foundation that bears their names, they stated its purpose to be ‘the revelation and evocation of vision through art.’ They regarded the act of creation and the pleasures of seeing as the greatest means to combat hardship and provide balance and hope.”

The structure in which the THREAD center will be housed was designed by the New York based architect Toshiko Mori, who offered her services free of charge. The design has already been bestowed the AIA New York Chapter award and has was selected for the 2014 Venice Architectural Biennale.

Mori collaborated with local construction workers to draw up a design combining locally-sourced materials such as bamboo, brick, and thatch with environmentally conscious innovations such as an inverted roof, capable of supplying 40 percent of the village’s water needs.

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