Sculptors call for govt support

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO

AVAC Arts director Terrence Musiyiwa has urged the Youth, Sports, Art and Culture ministry to assist in the revival of the sculpture sector, which he said has the capacity to contribute to the country’s economic growth.

Avac Arts mainly focuses on virtual gallery operations and trades in artefacts online.

“Stone sculpture was once one of the biggest artforms to bring in foreign currency in the country and I believe with the right assistance, it still can be,” he said.

“Despite mixed fortunes in the sector, sculpture remains a prominent representation of our local arts internationally and various stone carvings stand in many galleries in the world representing our arts heritage.”

Musiyiwa bemoaned delays by the Harare City Council to sign off a land deal for a gallery space along Airport Road, which he said hindered the transition of their virtual gallery to a physical one-stop-shop for art.

“We applied for physical gallery space three years ago for development and expansion, but we are yet to be allocated the land. Right now, most of our artists either work from their homes or from my backyard in Chitungwiza,” he said.

Avac Arts, he said, worked with 15 artists that were supplied with material and tools to operate at his house as well as 300 sculptors, including veterans Kennedy Musekiwa and Sylvester Mubayi.

Musekiwa shared the same sentiments with Musiyiwa’s call for an accelerated allocation of working space by the authorities.

“Avac Arts has been very instrumental in the development of sculpture in Zimbabwe, but the issue of space is hampering progress. As an artist, working from one’s backyard is challenging as neighbours sometimes complain of noise from our power tools and the dust that is raised when sculpting,” he said.

The Avac Arts virtual gallery (www.avacarts.com) platform has expert sculptors and curators, who scale the length and breadth of the country in search of perfect, unique, authentic bankable works of art.

It represents a diverse cross section of sculptors originating from Chitungwiza, Hatfield, and Warren Park to as far as Tengenenge.

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