Lusaka Zambia Art
EAS - Zambian artist George Mubanga shares his experiences with children at the French School in Lusaka. I graduated from high school in 2013 and now have an art practice studio in LUSaka, Zambia. We are related by nature and are very close friends with many people from the local art scene in the city and beyond.
The Lechwe Trust, founded in 1986, acquires art from artists, including early works, to build and maintain the world's largest collection of public and private art in Zambia. Secondly, some of the works are in private and public collections, and some are public monumental art.
The artists have played an important role in the development of art in Zambia over the last 50 years, from the early 20th century to the present day. This includes the founding of the National Art Gallery in Lusaka, the Zambian National Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts in Luzaka.
In apartheid South Africa, where artists often made anti-apartheid art, it occurred to me that painting was the dominant order. This art genre was made up of white artists, whether women or privileged, but it was produced almost exclusively by Congolese who ran their own art schools and art galleries.
By buying art at a fair price, these artists could stay in Zambia instead of leaving the country, as many, like Henry Tayali, did. Only a handful of artists claim to live on their art alone, and even fewer earn more than a small percentage of their income from art sales. These handful have become much smaller in Zimbabwe, but they make up a large part of the art scene in the capital, Lusaka. It may be that more women are studying art and making art, but art history is sexist, for now.
With small models and drawings, the 10 artists who participated in the project brought different parts of the painting to life, and the results were stunning. The key to this recognition is that the Lechwe Trust has decided to build its own gallery. Now I would like to tell you the story of one of their latest projects:
Zimbabwe has always been better equipped than Zambia for the National Gallery Museum, originally designed for the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Schematic art has developed, especially in the East, into an art form, the execution of which has continued in recent times. While some of the works are created by traditional sculptors with whom modern art is associated, some sculptures, especially those carved in wood, have indigenous ancestors.
Cynthia Zukas and Bente Lorenz have worked to strengthen creative artists. Supported by the Art Centre Foundation, the group has established and manages a studio at Evelyn Hone College, run by artists and working in collaboration with the National Gallery of Zambia. The gallery has given over 50 Zambian artists the opportunity to present their works live in the gallery and in their studios.
In March this year, I was allowed to do art activities with children at the French School in Lusaka and I learned a lot. Since almost all of the artists I met were art students at school or college, or were already art teachers or lecturers, I had the opportunity to meet and interact with some of Zambia's most important artists. I did art activities with the children of the school and for the first time in front of a large group of students and teachers.
I participated in the National Women's Workshop Competition in Livingstone, run by FSD Zambia, and won 2nd prize. In 2016 I was then elected artist of the month for June by the German Embassy in Lusaka, Zambia. In 1989, the Mpapa Gallery facilitated a successful Zambian art exhibition in London, organized by the Africa Centre.
Danish ceramist who came to Southern Rhodesia and worked with African potters and sculptors who came before her. The colors, stories and details that flow from her hand to the canvas reveal so much about her home in Africa.
When she crashed at a cultural policy meeting in 1987, chaired by the Zambian Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, no one would have thought that her act would redefine the fate of contemporary art in Zambia. It was the beginning of an infrastructure for art institutions that was implanted in the hearts and minds of the people of Southern Rhodesia and the rest of South Africa. There was perhaps a rarely articulated motivation for them to depict and explore Zambia by visual means.
There has been no recognition of what has been achieved previously and so far we have to correct what has been put on record. Zambian artists and art educators who were pioneers of "Zambian art today" in an extremely difficult time.
The lack of support for the art scene in Zambia is only one problem that artists must address. When you are in a country where people don't recognise art and you can pursue it as a career, it's difficult.