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Social Science and Public Policy

Designing a Working Space for an African Art Icon: A Conversation between El Anatsui and Tony Asare

April 22, 2021 at 5:15pm6:45pm EDT

Virtual (See event details)

Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs

Maxwell African Scholars Union presents

Designing a Working Space for an African Art Icon: A Conversation between El Anatsui and Tony Asare

Architect Tony Asare and artist El Anatsui will discuss their collaboration on the design of Anatsui’s art studio in Ghana. The conversation will focus on the joy and challenges of communication between an architect who was tasked to give form to an art studio, and an artist whose work is often described to have “unfixed form.”




The conversation will be moderated by Yutaka Sho, Associate Professor, School of Architecture, Syracuse University

Tony Asare


Tony Yaw Asare is a Ghanaian architect with fifteen years of experience. Asare is an associate member of the Ghana Institute of Architects since 1999, and has won First Prize for Affordable Housing Design competition organized by the Home Finance Company in 1998, the Ghana Institute of Architects Excellence Award for Conservation and Restoration in 2009 and an Award by Conference for Housing Excellence, Rising Community Partner sponsored by Charles Buckman Foundation CIH ConsultASH in 2011 for his effort in alleviating social housing problems. He is the Honorary Secretary of the Council of the Ghana Institute of Architects.




El Anatsui


El Anatsui, a Ghanaian artist living and working in Nigeria, is best known for his sculpture made with typically discarded materials such as thousands of folded and crumpled pieces of aluminum bottle caps sourced from local alcohol recycling stations and bound together with copper wire. His use of these materials reflects his interest in reuse, transformation, and an intrinsic desire to connect to his continent, Africa, while transcending the limitations of place. His work can interrogate the history of colonialism and draw connections between consumption, waste, and the environment, but at the core is his unique formal language that distinguishes his practice. His work has been shown at some of the most prestigious art collections in the world including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, NY; National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; The British Museum; and the Vatican Museum.

Co-sponsored by the School of Architecture and the College of Visual and Performing Arts

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For more information or to request accommodation arrangements, please contact Havva Karakas Keles,

This event was first published on April 6, 2021 and last updated on April 8, 2021.

Event Details