BY TENDAI SAUTA ARTISTS Against Poverty director Stewart Mauzinyu has said visual artists must be honoured for their role in environmental conservation.
Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style, Chitungwiza-based Mauzinyu said as Artists Against Poverty, a home-based arts company, they were promoting environmental conservation through recycled artefacts.
“As Artists Against Poverty, we are complementing the Environmental Management Agency’s efforts to protect our environment. We create wild animal crafts to raise awareness on animal and environmental preservation,” he said.
Mauzinyu said there was need to equip artists with marketing skills so that they could sell their products in order for them to enjoy the fruits of their sweat.
“It is disturbing that middlemen were depriving local artists of potential revenue due to limited access to foreign markets,” he said.
“Despite the significant growth of the arts industry, artists’ rewards for their work are poor because of middlemen and the underpricing of their artefacts. Several art collectors and cross-border traders buy artefacts at low prices and sell them at high profit margins without paying commission to artists.”
Mauzinyu said Artists Against Poverty intended to empower youths so that they escape the clutches of poverty.
“Through our works, we empower youths to be creative and innovative by helping them shun bad practices such as drug abuse. We make some of the artefacts from recycled metal, plastic containers, cans, beads and wires. With these materials, we produce embedded works in the form of rare animal species, baskets and toys,” he added.
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