Columnists

Beyond African Inspirations exhibition, artists should be kept busy

BENEDICT Tembo.

Analysis: BENEDICT TEMBO
THE 2018 African Inspirations exhibitions held on the sidelines of the Zanaco Masters international golf tournament at the Lusaka Golf Club undoubtedly achieved their purpose of exposing our artists to visitors and local patrons.
The number of people who visited the art exhibitions stands was impressive, an indication of what can be achieved if art is given the necessary exposure and support.
Sales of artefacts and sculptures were impressive and probably for the first time in history, more artefacts were bought by local people as opposed to foreigners. It is indeed encouraging to notice that a number of local people are now appreciating our art, which is not only interesting but amazing as well.
This, according to African Inspirations 2018 Art Exhibition promoter Aaron Chungu, is a sign of better things to come.
The success of the exhibition can be attributed to the business houses, which weighed their support to the event designed to steer the renaissance of art in the country.
The Lusaka Golf Club executive committee, too, deserves commendation for offering the artists a platform to showcase their talent.
The success of the exhibition also points to the quality of the artwork by our artists.
Mr Chungu and his team must now retreat and conduct a post-mortem of the event as they plan for the next edition.
Undoubtedly, Mr Chungu knows the importance of keeping artists busy as a way of continuously exposing them to the Zambian public and visitors to the country so that the interest grows.
Artists have to be ready to start exhibiting at major public events such as cocktails, the Copperbelt Mining show, the International Trade Fair, Lusaka Agricultural and Commercial Show, international football matches and trade shows.
One of the significant outcomes of the art exhibition was the participation of female artists, who constituted 25 percent of the exhibitors – which is encouraging.
Previously, participation by women was too insignificant to be recognised by people who went to see the artefacts.
Now, women are taking up the challenge and those who participated have inspired others, especially the young artists, to come forward.
“My call is on the corporate institutions to come on board, especially the banks, and help the art industry,” Mr Chungu said.
The author is editorials editor at the Zambia Daily Mail.




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