Hartmann House hosts visual arts showcase

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THIS year’s Visual Arts Festival exhibition, organised by the National Institute of Allied Arts (NIAA), is underway at Jubilee Hall, Hartmann House in Harare.

By Entertainment Reporter

The exhibition opened on Tuesday and runs until October 2. It showcases about 500 works from junior and senior schools and is open to the public. Running concurrently with the Visual Arts Festival is the Literary Festival.

“The annual Literary and Visual Arts festivals are held in tandem. The syllabus goes out to students during the first term of the year and entries are received during the month of July,” festival director Laurin Cawood said.

“They are then adjudicated in time for public exhibition, which this year is being held at the Jubilee Hall, Hartmann House, for the first time.”

A prize-giving ceremony for winning pupils will be held tomorrow at Hartmann House.

This year, the institute would be awarding two floating trophies for best junior writer and best senior writer.

Due to the large numbers of entries submitted, only those that received honours or a first grade will be exhibited at Hartmann House.

The Literary Festival attracted a total of 2 177 entries. Entries were received from 40 junior schools and 25 senior schools from around the country.

Entries are graded on a scale from Honours (for outstanding work) to Ungraded (for work judged to be below festival standard). National award winners are chosen from those who have been graded at Honours level.

The Visual Arts Festival received 2 183 entries from 45 junior and 13 senior schools. The theme of the 2013 syllabus is Celebration. This year the judges in the Senior Categories were renowned artist and sculptor Wayne Stutchbury and wildlife artist Sarah Bentley. In the Junior Categories, the judging was carried out by Debbie Ferreira and Di Bentley. A total of 142 entries received an Honours grade (up from 101 in 2012).

Commenting on the entries, Cawood said: “The junior school work was vibrant and showed enthusiasm and wonderful creativity, in particular in the Carnival question in Category 4 (Grades 5 and 6). The senior work was approached thoughtfully, and there are pieces that show mature concepts and advanced creativity.”

The NIAA is a voluntary, non-profit organisation whose aim is to foster the arts in Zimbabwe. It was created in 1913, with a one- day arts and crafts festival. One-hundred years later, it hosts four festivals annually – Literary, Visual Arts, Speech and Drama and Vocal and Instrumental.

“The National Institute of Allied Arts is very grateful to Hartmann House for the use of their new Jubilee Hall for our exhibition,” Cawood said.

“The NIAA would also like to thank the following sponsors, who have helped make this year’s festival possible:CBZ Bank for the Literary Festival and Innscor Africa Ltd for the Visual Arts Festival.”