Virtual gallery promotes budding sculptors

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BY TATENDA KUNAKA
LOCAL virtual gallery Avac Arts is working with up-and-coming sculptors to help them market their artefacts through information and communication technologies.

The gallery has more than 120 both established and promising artists across the country.

Avac Arts director Terrence Musiyiwa said they established the online gallery having realised that rising diverse sculptors were struggling to market their artefacts.

“The internet is a very powerful tool. In international trade it is a bridge that connects artists and their products to a global village. It offers infinite possibilities,” he said.

“As Avac Arts we seek to promote African art and assist artists to sell their artefacts. Rising sculptors produce many artefacts, but don’t know where to market them or who to approach and help them secure both local and foreign markets.”

Urging local artists to embrace the internet to develop their business Musiyiwa said: “Seeing the plight of rising sculptors, I then decided to embrace technology, to push these young artists to get that much needed recognition in the industry.”

Musiyiwa believes that online visibility is critical for artists in this digital era because it eventually leads to better sales.

“Most of the artists do art on a full-time basis, hence they should benefit from it. If the lives of up-and-coming artists improve through their work, it will attract more young people into sculpting. Stone sculpture is one of the most agonising art forms to produce, yet one of least appreciated,” he said, adding that Avac Arts also helped artists to be part of promotional activities such as local, regional and international exhibitions and the organisation had sent artworks to Canada, South Africa, Germany and the United States.

Apart from providing an online marketing platform for young artists, Avac is also involved in philanthropic works.

Recently they donated two tonnes of raw stone to rising resident artists at Chitungwiza Arts Centre. Sometimes Avac donates tools to artists with inadequate equipment.

“If young people have something to do it will keep them away from immorality, remember idle minds are dangerous,” he further noted.

Since the organisation’s efforts are primarily centred on art communities, it has hosted artists from arts hubs such as Chitungwiza, Hatfield and Warren Park. And for the first time, Musiyiwa is set to participate at an international exhibition later this year.

“I will be going to Europe for an exhibition. The organisers are closely following the war in Ukraine before giving a date,” he added.

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