Gallery faces closure

HARARE - One of the country’s remaining art galleries, Gallery Delta has hinted on closing down following a significant decline in sales and the prevailing cash crisis.

Located in the Harare Avenues area, the gallery could close anytime.

Founder Derreck Huggins told the Daily News that if funding does not come soon, they will surely shut down.

“Gallery Delta is suffering a paucity of sales in the midst of the economic crisis . . . This is so much that closure at the beginning of the new year looms ominously unless patronage, sponsorship, donations or benefaction of approximately

$50 000 per annum can be found.

“After 42 years of operation, this is a sad reflection of the state of the nation and the economy and bodes severely for art and the arts.

“If anyone is willing and able to contribute to the continuation of Gallery Delta and its work and exhibition programme for 2017, they can be provided with banking details or make cash donations.”

The gallery was founded in 1975 at a time of sanctions, conflict and war.

“Its policy was always to promote contemporary painting, graphics, ceramics and mixed media sculpture as a contra to Shona sculpture which dominated in the early years.

“Over the years, the gallery has organised, mounted, presented and promoted more than 500 exhibitions and facilitated many artistic events involving music, theatre and literature.

“In doing so, it has nurtured, helped, encouraged and supported and brought many artists from obscurity to acceptance and recognition, not only locally, but internationally as well,” Huggins said.

There are many success stories from the gallery in the last decade or two.

These include the late Luis Meque, Richard Mudariki, who is now settled and exhibiting in Cape Town; Misheck Masamvu who has recently shown with the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg and Cape Town and at the Sao Paulo Biennale.

Virginia Chihota, who is exhibiting in London and Gareth Nyandoro, winner of the “Emerging Voices” competition sponsored by the Oppenheimer Foundation, to name a few.

In 2013, another gallery — Chapungu Art Gallery — closed it’s doors following liquidation.

At the time of closure, it was owing its 24 employees $150 000 in wages over a period of two years.

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