Artists from Chitungwiza Arts Centre who took part at the just ended exhibition at Alliance Française in Harare are basking in the glow of the three-week long expo after clinching lucrative deals.
By Our Staff
Apart from boosting the arts centre’s quest for becoming one of the country’s paragons of community tourism, the exhibition opened avenues for most of the 21 sculptors who took part.
“We are grateful with the positive feedback we got from all who came to the exhibition. It was our first group exhibition outside Chitungwiza and we made good sales and cultivated new contacts,” said the arts centre’s chairperson Taurai Tigere.
“We have learnt that community arts progress is a result of collaborative input, so we thank the director of Alliance Francaise Charles Houdart, curator of the exhibition Vivienne Croisette and the French Ambassador to Zimbabwe Laurent Delahousse for recognising us and affording us an opportunity to shine and showcase our creative artworks in Harare.”
Tigere said the exhibition acted as a stimulus to a number of artists, most of who were taking part at an expo of such magnitude for the first time.
“The artists are motivated and now they can go and improve and excel in other exhibitions and events to come. We are even more grateful to Vivienne [Croisette] for bringing us to Harare and sharing her experience with us,” said Tigere.
“We look forward to having more exhibitions locally and from that experience and networks, we are hopeful to get invitations for exhibitions in Europe and USA.”
The chairperson also cited an incident where a member of Prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s church saw pictures of the official opening of the exhibition in this newspaper and asked sculptors from Chitungwiza Arts Centre to do a portrait of the man of God.
“The person came to Chitungwiza Arts Centre with a photo of Prophet Bushiri and requested to have his portrait carved on stone for presentation to him at the church conference last week. The sculptors did that and the elated man took the potrait to Prophet Bushiri,” Tigere said.
“Some enquiries are coming from new contacts both locally and internationally and that to us is a success because we are moving away from relying on a few players.”
Chitungwiza Arts Centre was established in 1997 as a poverty alleviation programme that was funded by United Nations Development Programme through the then Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture. Today the centre has 200 visual artistes, six of who are females.