Visual artists shine at arts festival

Harare’s First Floor Gallery staged a successful visual arts exhibition at this year’s Chimanimani Arts Festival recently.

Entitled Reaching Out, the exhibition attracted a large and supportive audience composed of visual arts enthusiasts.

First Floor Gallery administration director Marcus Gora told NewsDay that the exhibition featured some of the country’s leading upcoming artists.

“The artworks on display were from some of Zimbabwe’s leading and emerging artists, namely Moffat Takadiwa, Wycliff Mundopa, Zacharaha Magasa, Sky Salanje, Kura Maponga and Brian Banda,” he said.

Gora also said the purpose of the exhibition was to expose contemporary art to audiences that were usually left out by the mainstream visual arts establishment in the country.

“It is only by connecting with the grassroots that we can make authentic and important art. Zimbabwe is not composed of just the cities. Our culture comes from the communal areas. This is the heart of the country and without sharing it and engaging with all people of Zimbabwe, we cannot progress.”

Acting Chimaninimani Arts Festival director Hector Mugani said this was the first time for the festival to hold a fine art exhibition.

“These young artists are making work that is very contemporary and innovative, but at the same time they talk about the life and issues of their fellow Zimbabweans today and that is why so many people responded so well to the works,” said Mugani.

“As a festival, this was our first visual art exhibition and it was a great success. We respect what First Floor Gallery did and how they are working with grassroots visual artists.”

Chimanimani Arts Festival is traditionally referred to as the “People’s Festival”.

This year saw theatre performances being staged, music, poetry as well as the visual arts exhibition being showcased.

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