BY TENDAI SAUTA
ACTING regional director for National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) in Bulawayo, Silenkosi Moyo, says 20 female visual artists are undergoing a digital art-making skills programme meant to enhance their creativity.
Moyo told NewsDay Life & Style that the programme, that has been running from November last year, will continue until April.
“Digital art-making and promotion skills programme for 20 Bulawayo-based female visual artists came to the gallery through the Foundation of the Friends of the Gallery who got support from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI),” she said.
“So far, the artists have received a short training in animation, graphic illustration, video art and photography. These digital skills will improve their capacity to produce digital art and engage more in collaborative projects with a digital component.”
Moyo said the programme had afforded them an opportunity to identify new young female visual artists to be mentored and developed as part of their corporate social mandate.
“Our focus on the female artist was intentional so that there is improvement in the uptake of digital art by females in the visual arts sector, thus allowing them to fully participate in the visual arts value chain,” she said.
“The artists, who created murals in Emganwini, showing the transition from traditional art to the digital one challenged us as a society to change and grow as the situation changes in life, thus, allowing us to live rather than cope with the changes.”
“Cowdray Park focused on gender-based violence and providing simple solutions to the issue by challenging societies to love their women. The artistic expressions were on the central business district as pointers to solutions on the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“A documentary has been produced and will be shared on the gallery’s social media platform showing the progress of the female artists who took part in the programme. The programme will round off with an exhibition to be graced by the Canadian ambassador Her Excellency Christina Bhuchan,” she said.
Moyo urged artists in Matabeleland to fully utilise opportunities availed by the gallery.
“The Bulawayo gallery has a strong partnership with the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives and a key area of focus from 2021 to 2025 is visual artist capacity enhancement,” she said.
“The gallery seeks to progressively improve the levels of knowledge, skills and networks of our resident and non-resident artists. In this regard, we will roll out a series of training workshops facilitated by local and international resource persons.”
She added: “Digital technology has emerged as one of the priority areas of training. We are keen to see more artists exploiting digital technologies to create and promote their work.”
“We are keen to see more Bulawayo artists taking up residences in regional and international galleries and their work being showcased globally and further included in galleries’ permanent collections.”
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