THE end of the year is a time where various institutions reflect to measure their successes and failures as well as planning for the future.
Report by Tinashe Sibanda
In the visual arts sector, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) singled out its education department for successfully carrying out outreach programmes that targeted outlying areas.
“On June 21 and July 24 the education department facilitated a teacher’s workshop at the Murehwa Culture Centre and at Bindura Primary School respectively,” NGZ director Doreen Sibanda said in her review of the year.
“In attendance on the 21st were 29 primary school teachers and 12 secondary school teachers drawn from Marondera, Macheke and Murehwa. In Bindura there were 35 primary and secondary school teachers present from Rushinga, Mount Darwin, Guruve, Dotito and Centenary.”
She said the intention of the workshops was to make participants aware of gallery-based learning in visual arts, gallery programmes, careers in art and the use of various objects to make artworks.
Sibanda added that different elements had been used to illustrate these points during the workshops theoretically and practically. They included the use of discarded materials to create works of art.
“The teachers were being taught to be creative with what is around them, thus broadening their minds as well as the students that take the subject,” she said.
Sibanda said the department team also visited the Zimbabwe Autism Organisation (ZAO) in Harare on October 10 and Herman Germainer SOS Children’s Home in Waterfalls, Harare, for charitable activities.
She said the team visited ZAO to assist its students in developing skills that were meant to help them become productive in life.
ZAO has an enrolment of 15 students split into groups according to age.
“This outreach demonstrated the therapeutic qualities that art possesses,” Sibanda said.
“Students who are normally associated with disturbing behaviour such as aggression, self-injury, screaming and difficulty with sharing with others, managed to work together in groups throughout the sessions and created beautiful art.”
She added that the visit to Herman Germainer in October involved the facilitation of a drawing session with 40 pre-school children and a pattern-making session with 20 children.
“I think it is important for members of our society in Zimbabwe to recognise and acknowledge the various programmes that national institutions such as the gallery are imparting across the country, especially with
disadvantaged or challenged communities,” said the curator for education Tashinga Matindike – Gondo.