King Charles to launch residencies for Caribbean artists at Dumfries House

The King has joined forces with England rugby player Maro Itoje to launch an “artist in residence” programme for African, Caribbean and diaspora artists at Dumfries House, his Scottish estate.

‌His charity, The King’s Foundation, said the collaboration would give up-and-coming artists the chance to live and work at the sprawling 18th century property for three months.

‌Mr Itoje, who met the King, 75, at a Buckingham Palace reception in June 2022, co-founded The Akoje Residency to provide opportunities to artists from the Commonwealth.

‌He said that Dumfries House, in East Ayrshire, offered “the perfect environment for artists to focus on their craft and learn from like minded individuals.”

He added: ‌“We believe art has the amazing ability to bring communities together.

‌“Our residency is a haven for emerging and established and emerging artists alike.”

Celebrating cultural heritage

‌The partnership with the King’s Foundation will offer up to eight funded residencies a year, designed to help artists develop their craft and learn new skills.

It will champion traditional arts and craftsmanship, reflecting the monarch’s passion, while celebrating the cultural heritages of the countries involved.

‌The artists will be invited to share their perspectives through talks, open studios and exhibitions.

‌Mr Itoje said it would allow African artists to improve and showcase their talents to a larger audience.

“They will benefit from being surrounded by the enriching ecosystem that Dumfries House provides as well as being a contributor to the growth of African art worldwide,” he added.

‌The first to benefit from the programme will be Nigeria-born Oliver Enwonwu, 48, who is working towards a PhD in African Art History at the University of Benin and who uses his work to celebrate achievements of African people.

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