Communities urged to appreciate local art

MUTARE - Natioanl Art Gallery, Nag regional director Elizabeth Muusha has called on communities to appreciate art by local artists so as to give them the urge to want to create more exciting artefacts.

Muusha told the Daily News during the Manicaland Show of Arts (Manisa) awards over the weekend that while the pieces entered for the awards were of high quality, a lack of appreciation of the arts were beginning to tell in the works.

Muusha said there were a disturbingly low number of paintings in the awards. “These walls should not have been this empty, but the problem is a lack of appreciation of that art form. Without recognition the artists are not motivated.”

The gallery director said while she appreciated the number of entries of Shona sculptures, it was disturbing that the sculptors only managed to sculpt using the softer soap stone as compared to hard rocks like spring stone or serpentine stones.

“Although artists enjoy working on material that is readily available to them, with resources permitting, they should also use the harder types of stone. Most of the works we had are on soap stone which is easier to work on,” Muusha said.

She, however, singled out Nyanga Shona sculptors’ commitment as they submitted works created from serpentine which is hard in spite of poor resources.

Muusha said while artists may have a lot of talent, they need to be appreciated to keep creating. “Creating is one thing but appreciation is another. That’s why we have Manisa — to show them appreciation and keep them motivated so they continue creating.”

She added that the fight was now to make locals the consumers of our own works.

Each category’s top three awards comprised $200, $150 and $100 cash prizes with two runners up walking away with gift hampers.

The awards were sponsored by the Culture Fund and the local business community that included Tanganda, Cairns, Telecell, Metro Peech, Coca cola, Baxter, Sisco, Red Lucky Restaurant, Mutare Polytechnic, Mutare-Haarlem, Serve All Purposes and individuals.

In the painting category Bernard Marira won the Distinction Award, Anold Tendekai Nhanga took the Merit Award with Morset Billie’s work was Highly Recommended.

Top sculptors were Tatenda Gwarada, Richard James, Taurai Matondo in that order.

The mixed media category was won by Eliah Mukwakwa followed by Chengetai Chinanga with John Philson Camara’s work being highly recommended.

Distinction Award craftsmanship went to John Pambuka with Sials Chipise getting the Merit Award while Austin Machona came third.

The top secondary school student award went to Boys High’s Enock Matumbure followed by Cristwish Mulunga from Sakubva High with Steven Matondo from Hartzell coming third.

Dangamvura Primary’s David Mugona’s work got the Distinction Award among primary school students followed by Leslie Tsaura from St Werburgh’s, a rural school, with Murahwa’s Michael Mugwindiri coming third.

Thirty eight works in total were rewarded for excellence in the more than 200 entries.

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