DIRECTOR of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) in Bulawayo, Butholezwe Kgosi Nyathi, yesterday said they had witnessed an increase in artists using the gallery over the last year.
BY SHARON SIBINDI
Nyathi, who is celebrating his first anniversary after being appointed the regional director for the institution in May last year, has expressed appreciation for the support from stakeholders and the Bulawayo community.
“My team and I have worked hard to position the gallery as a leading cultural space. We have witnessed an increase in the number of artists using the gallery as a venue of choice for their events,” he said.
“That for us has been an indicator of our improved aspirational value. An increase in arts events has enhanced our vibrancy as a space.”
Nyathi said the main highlight over the last year has been the ongoing renovations at the institution.
“After renovations, the gallery will look more aesthetically pleasing and for that we will always remain grateful to the embassies of Australia and Switzerland,” he said.
“Another exciting dimension we have pursued is that of digital arts. We have introduced immersive virtual tours of exhibitions and that has helped us expand our scope of reach and influence beyond Zimbabwe’s borders.”
He, however, expressed regret that the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, which led to the suspension of public events as part of a lockdown meant to curb the spread of the virus, forced them to shelve their inaugural full-scale digital arts exhibition in partnership with the British Council Southern Africa Arts.
“But of course this was a year not without challenges. We would want to incentivise our staff more but resources are limited and income erosion is not helping matters,” he said.
Nyathi said he remained confident, however, that their ingenuity and industriousness would see them weather all storms.
“Going forward, we are committed to supporting more artists to elevate their practice. We will invest more in public art expression as we are desirous to enhance the beauty of Bulawayo’s city scape. I would like to thank all stakeholders who have supported us thus far,” he said.