Conceived by Lauren Tate Baeza, the Curator of African Art at the High Museum of Art, LagosAtlanta: Sister City Rising brought Lagos, Nigeria-based artists to Atlanta to create artworks for the BeltLine community and its visitors.

The residency program celebrated 50 years of cultural exchange between the two sister cities with a two-month artist residency that featured renowned artists Taiye Idahor and Kainebi Osahenye.

Over the course of the residency, the artists embarked on a full cultural immersion, resulting in two new public art pieces for the Westside Trail. Their pieces were then unveiled during a public event on April 27 and became a centerpiece of the 2024 Art on the Atlanta BeltLine exhibition season. 

The Sister City connection between Lagos and Atlanta dates back to 1974 under the leadership of Mayor Maynard Jackson. It was later strengthened thanks to efforts from U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young.

Now, 50 years later, Atlanta is home to the fifth-largest Nigerian population in the United States and the largest in the Southeast. It also hosts one of the nation’s two Nigerian consular offices and many Nigerian organizations.

Taiye Idahor is a contemporary artist interrogating identity, family histories, and the expectations and contradictions of performing femininity. Based in Lagos, Nigeria, the draftswoman, multimedia collagist, and sculptor has exhibited locally and abroad, with works in permanent collections such as the Princeton University Art Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, and Zeitz MOCAA. She studied fine art at the Yaba College of Technology, where she graduated with a Higher National Diploma (HND) in sculpture. 

Kainebi Osahenye is one of Nigeria’s foremost contemporary artists. His large-scale neo-expressionist paintings and experimental sculptures forged from discarded and repurposed materials are reflections on spirituality, consumerism, and the environment. Osahenye has participated in residency programs and exhibitions in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the United States; and he studied fine art and painting at Goldsmiths, University of London, Auchi Polytechnic, and Yaba College of Technology.