BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
IN an effort to support emerging artists across the country, local independent contemporary artist-led gallery and educational space, First Floor Gallery Harare (FFGH), recently opened an office in Victoria Falls at the Elephant’s Walk complex.
FFGH executive director and co-founder Marcus Gora told NewsDay Life & Style yesterday that their plan with the latest gallery would be to help mentor local artists, art professionals in the region and create international visibility for the best talents.
“For too long, Harare has gotten the lion’s share of attention and opportunities when it comes to visual arts development. It is time to support the talent across the country and that is why we decided to open a new space in the resort town of Victoria Falls,” he said.
“As Zimbabwe’s fastest growing, multicultural and internationally engaged ‘new’ city, Victoria Falls/Mosi-oa-Tunya is a natural choice for a new space. Our aim is to empower a new generation of art professionals as well as artists to ensure sustainability and growth in the art sector in the country.”
He said in introducing the First Floor Gallery Victoria Falls to the resort twn’s audience, they hosted the Level Mosi-oa-Tunya exhibition that featured some of the key artists working with FFGH, who include Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude, Wycliffe Mundopa, Mavis Tauzeni, Helen Teede, Amanda Mushate, Anne Zanele Mutema, Troy Makaza, Julio Rizhi, Zacharaha Magasa and Takunda Regis Billiat.
Gora said FFGH, which opened its doors in 2009 as an experimental initiative on the tail end of hyperinflation, over the past decade grew to become one of the country’s leading international contemporary galleries.
“Our aim has always been to support emerging artists and taking them and Zimbabwean art around the world to art fairs, museums and into collections in Cape Town, Lagos, Marrakech, New York, London, Los Angeles, Paris, Berlin and Shanghai,” he said.
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“Over the past few years we have made efforts to bring artists from outside of Harare on residency with us to be mentored and supported. We now feel it is important to take the next step of creating exhibition and audience engagement opportunities as well.”
Follow Winstone on Twitter @widzoanto