THE National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) will officially open the National Gallery School of Visual Art and Design (NGSVAD) on October 19 at its campus in Mbare.
Report by Tinashe Sibanda
The school, formally known as BAT and Visual Art Studios, is now registered and shall be referred to as the NGSVAD and its first campus, which is located in Mbare, will still be known as the Visual Art Studios, to maintain part of the history of the school.
Based at the Beatrice Cottages in Mbare, the school offers art education to many young upcoming artists and with the appointment of a curator for education, Tashinga Matindike-Gondo, the registration process commenced in mid-2011 under the guidance of executive director Doreen Sibanda and her deputy Raphael Chikukwa.
“It is my hope that the school will be able to sustain itself now that it’s registered. Many artists have qualified from this school and it’s my hope that it will continue to attract artists,” said Chikukwa.
He said the school was, however, still in need of more partners, including the corporate sector and the government especially with regards to art materials and equipment.
Chikukwa added that the gallery’s vision was to continue with renovations at the school to cater for more studio space and during the opening artworks by Level 1 and Level 2 students, including paintings produced under the mentorship of renowned painter John Kotze, a project sponsored by British Council Zimbabwe, will be on display.
“The approval for registration of the school was issued in July by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education and the school offers two short-course certificates in Visual Arts and Design, awarded by the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in association with the Harare Polytechnic College,” he said.
Chikukwa said students who completed Level 1 would receive a short-course certificate of achievement and those who completed Level 2 would be awarded a short-course certificate of competence, both for a duration of one year. On completion of the course, students were expected to be able to draw, paint, printmake, sculpt, design, photograph and independently create artworks in their chosen major and minor genres.
He added that students would also be exposed to theoretical material related to the visual arts and every applicant was required to have the ability to read and write English, show interest in art as a subject, a portfolio of at least 10 artworks as well as 50% pass rate for practical and theory subjects for Level 1 and a minimum age of 16 years.
“Applications for 2013 entry open on October 15 to December 3,” added Chikukwa.