Undiscovered Canvas Art Residency | 2023

Undiscovered Canvas Art residency


Makwande Art Residency Invites Nthabiseng Boledi Kekana

May 2023, Mandelieu La Napoule

Makwande Art Residence is proud to announce their third and youngest artist in residency, Nthabiseng Boledi Kekana. The talented artist hailing from Alexander township, South Africa, is set to begin her 7-week residency in June of 2023 in the South of France.

Founded by Nomaza Nongqunga Coupez under the Undiscovered Canvas agency, Makwande Art Residency is a non-profit contemporary visual art organisation that fosters creativity, research, and experimentation through its international residency program for emerging African Female artists. Deserving artists are provided with a safe and supportive space to explore Mediterranean French culture, learning from art masters and drawing inspiration from a strong artistic history. The result is nuanced African experiences translated through a Mediterranean lens. The works produced during this transformative journey are then exhibited in France and the UK, exposing artists to exciting new market opportunities and exponentiating their growth.

Kekana’s invitation follows a mentorship relationship fostered over the last 2 years with Nomaza Coupez. The residency is proud to host an immensely talented young woman who, despite disadvantageous socio-economic circumstances, has continued to stay true to her gift and calling. ‘We are extremely honored to champion her voice by affording her an environment where she can grow and produce works that will be far ahead of her time.’, says Nomaza Coupez.

An excited, albeit nervous 24-year-old Kekana is looking forward to her first international trip. Raised by a single mother in one of South Africa’s poorest townships, pursuing her dreams has not been easy but has been sustained by a deep sense of purpose. The residency award is an affirmation of years of hard work and unbridled talent. She says ‘I do not have expectations because expectations can limit one’s experience. I simply want to fully embrace a new world and interpret it as I see it. I am keen to investigate European art beyond what I learned in art school, to draw lines back to its African influences.'

Makwande art residency could not be prouder to propel Kekana’s upward trajectory. In an era where funding is next to non-existent for African female artists, the residency is grateful to the private donors who continue to believe in the African dream. Their generosity is a testament that Mkwande’s vision to support emerging African female artists is echoed within the global community. 

A new star makes its way into the skies. Makwande.
Words by Dzunisani Ngobeni


Founded by Nomaza Nongqunga Coupez, the Undiscovered Canvas Art Residency Program fosters creativity, research, and experimentation through its international residency program for emerging African artists. Since 2019 Undiscovered Canvas artist-in-residency has hosted several artists working in Africa. Located in the South of France, on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, Undiscovered Canvas offers time and space in a contemplative and supportive environment, giving residents the freedom to think, create, and connect.

Undiscovered Canvas encourages crucial exploratory work, with a focus on the emerging contemporary art scene. The focus of the artist-in-residency program is providing individual support and establishing connections between the artists in the program and the wider international context, considering that the French Riviera was once home to the world's greatest modern artists including Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Monet, and others.

Undiscovered Canvas offers a wide range of services, which include providing curatorial support in the implementation of the artists’ projects, supplying technical infrastructure and materials, presenting the projects produced at the residency, advertising all events organized by the resident artists, holding “Open Studio” events, and inviting the artists to take part in larger projects including exhibitions and commissions.

Through these programs, Undiscovered Canvas supports emerging African artists in realizing their projects and establishing their creative practice on an international scale. Additionally, Undiscovered Canvas emphasizes the importance of self-care during the residency and advocates for artists to take time in learning how to balance work and restoration.

Visit : https://www.makwande-art-residency.org/ for more information