The National Gallery of Zimbabwe recently strengthened its education department through the appointment of Tashinga Matindike-Gondo as curator of education.
Gondo, who had been based in South Africa for the past 10 years, joins the gallery with a wealth of experience in arts teaching.
“Coming back to Zimbabwe has presented Tashinga with an opportunity to share her experiences with local upcoming artists,” said the Gallery communications officer, Rutendo Mutadzapasi.
Mutadzapasi said having been born and raised in Zimbabwe, there are certain socio-cultural and moral values that positively influenced Gondo’s upbringing, hence her wish to impart her knowledge to younger generations.
Her work experience has seen her exhibits in group exhibitions at the Harare International Festival of the Arts, in Principle (Johannesburg and Cape Town 2009), Local Rhetorics (Cape Town 2008) and Michaelis Graduate Show in SA in 2007.
“In her own words, she described her appointment as curator of education as an extremely demanding but definitely rewarding job and her vision for the department was targeted at rejuvenating and rebuilding the desire to learn about visual art within Zimbabwe, with the main focus of cultivating a culture of art appreciation amongst the youth,” said Mutadzapasi.
She said from 2002 to 2003, Tashinga did her tertiary education at the University of Cape Town Michaelis (UCT) School of Art and graduated with a BA (Fine Arts) in New Media and was put on the Deans’ Merit List.
From 2006 to 2009, she pursued her Master of Fine Art degree which she completed with a distinction.
Mutadzapasi said throughout her practice, Gondo had gained a number of accolades and leadership roles in South Africa that included the SABS Design Achievers Nominee (2007), World Women Leading Change Award (2007) and Rotary Youth Exchange Scholarship in 1999.
She was also a student representative council member at the University of Cape Town Michaelis School of Art in 2002 and executive secretary for UCT Clarinus Residence in 2003.
“I can guarantee you that Zimbabwe’s participation at the 54th Venice Biennale this year is only the beginning of greater things to come. The role of education at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe must be recognised and valued as it provides a platform for individuals to discover, gain knowledge of and experience the significance or art,” said Matindike-Gondo.
Mutadzapasi said the gallery had developed a number of educational programmes over the years and it is really up to the general public in Zimbabwe to take advantage of such opportunities and one such project was the Visual Art School that primarily aims to develop the artistic talent of gifted individuals with the hope of producing young professional artists who can realise their artistic hopes and dreams both at a local and international level.
She said other projects initiated by the department of education at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe include workshops and art classes for schoolchildren and adults as well as tours of current exhibitions and outreach programes for scholars that would be launched this year.
“We feel very fortunate to have Tashinga on our team as she is energetic and familiar with the artistic pedagogy as well as being an acclaimed artist in her own right. She will definitely make a difference to the services we can deliver,” said the gallery Executive Director, Doreen Sibanda.