What We Do
Aya was always designed with two ambitions in mind.
The first, AYA Editions, provides a digital space to promote West African female artists to showcase their work, ensuring that the margins were fair and the artist was at the centre of how their work was represented.
AYA Editions provides phenomenal upcoming female artists with a platform to sell affordable prints and raise their profile with the possibility of selling originals via the site in the future.
AYA Academy's mission is to support young women into careers within the creative industries through several initiatives intended to enhance visibility, participation and education at different levels of the creative ecosystem. To achieve this, AYA Academy will target young women identifying West Africans between the ages of 15- 35 years old through education and training programs.
Women are underrepresented in West African visual arts. Creative Industries have been identified as a critical driver for job creation on the continent. And yet, women are largely absent. Women's contribution to creating and safeguarding cultural heritage is often obscured. It has been found women face numerous structural, institutional and cultural barriers to active participation in the creative industries.
In 2020 Victoria Cooke and Carina decided that it wasn't enough to just talk about the under-representation, particularly in the commercial art space. It was time for action. With Victoria and Carina being based in Accra, Ghana, the solution needed to be sustainable, locally-focused, with an overarching ambition of providing opportunities and also accessible, affordable art for all. Aya Editions and Aya Academy were born.
Aya is a West African Adrinka symbol representing a fern. Aya signifies endurance, independence and defiance against difficulties. Aya is associated with being tenacious, having perseverance and being resourceful.
Are you with us?
So there you have it, the Aya vision. We think the prints we are selling are pretty special, and we strongly believe in our vision where we can support processes to enable a future where African female artists are at the fore.