Black Rock compound, 2019. © Kehinde Wiley. Used with permission

Obama portrait painter Kehinde Wiley is opening up his compound in Senegal’s Dakar to creatives, inviting writers, filmmakers and artists to join him in residence.

There will be studio space for three people at a time, who can spend between one and three months at Black Rock as part of the inaugural programme, which runs from June through to February 2020. Creatives will have their own private townhouse, as well as access to an infinity pool, a private chef, gym and spa. In addition to a modest stipend for supplies, they’ll also receive funding to explore Senegal and learn the local language, Wolof as part of their artist residency.

Creatives can expect a few unique challenges, however: ‘You can’t search for anything online, so to find particular items, you have to know someone, or ask, and then track it down,’ painter Scott Andresen, one of the first artists on the programme, told Artsy.That process can take anywhere from an hour to a day or two.’

Black Rock compound, 2019. © Kehinde Wiley. Used with permission
Black Rock compound, 2019. © Kehinde Wiley. Used with permission

Wiley – who also has a home and studio at Black Rock – has big plans for the compound, hoping to eventually incorporate a digital lab, as well as giving residents a chance to experiment in the kitchen.

The first round of residency applications has just closed but keep your eyes peeled for 2020 dates.

Black Rock compound, 2019. © Kehinde Wiley. Used with permission
Black Rock compound, 2019. © Kehinde Wiley. Used with permission
Sunset over Dakar
Photography: Kehinde Wiley (c) Used with permission

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