Next Level USA | Residency in Nigeria

by Brandon Marshall

In 2018 I was lucky enough to be chosen for a life changing program called Next Level USA, sponsored by Meridian International out of Washington, DC. I was selected as cultural ambassador to the nation of Nigeria, to teach a three-week workshop in Mural Making and Aerosol Art. Some of the most memorable highlights for me to think back on were the work days, away from the site of the workshops. We had a local elementary school request the A,B,C’s be painted on a wall outside their building, which was a perfect introduction into aerosol techniques. We also did a hand-painted ad at Jabi Lake Mall, the largest and most popular shopping center in the capital city, Abuja. I also got to meet Nigerian Hip Hop Artist M.I., and he was an incredibly cool and down to earth guy. Some other moments that really stick out are being Taylor fitted with some traditional Nigerian attire, shopping in the markets for spray paint and checking out the different materials available, and just hanging out with my friends there. We also had an incredible opportunities to participate in cultural collaborations and performances with local dancers, musicians, and artists from all over the country. Oh, and we attended Felabration in Abuja and I got to see Fela Kuti’s son perform! Too many memories to unpack in one post. I think about my trip to Nigeria almost daily and it has forever informed the way I think about making art.

Elementary School in Abuja. Each participant assigned 3 – 4 letters each.
Some amazing dancers from a local dance company during our cultural collaboration.
This is a mural that I helped them plan, but was executed entirely by the students from the workshop at Jabi Lake Mall.
King James would be proud.
Rufus Thomas voice, “Ain’t I’m clean?”
Myself and M.I.
Brandon MarshallNext Level USA | Residency in Nigeria