By Ogova Ondego
Published July 10, 2014
The second edition of the National Heritage Art Competition for Youth aged 18 – 25 years has been launched in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
Dubbed “Room for Giants: Art for Change Awards and Exhibition 2014”, the aim of the event that first took place in 2012 is to facilitate and enhance wildlife conservation awareness.
“The event’s main objective is to promote, embrace and share with the rest of the world the preservation of the rich African heritage, culture, wildlife and environment,” said Lydia Gatundu Galavu, Curator of Contemporary Art at National Museums of Kenya. “Other related aims are to promote sustainable art, to reward best practices in wildlife and environmental conservation and in art among youth.”
The inaugural National Heritage Art Competition for Youth in 2012 was organised by National Museums of Kenya with the support of Village Sanctuary and Chege Designs. The partners coming on board in 2014 include Wild Life Africa, Art for Change (MALLER) and and IBUKA.
While Wild Life Africa champions the conservation of wildlife and environment, youth empowerment and eco-enterprising, Art for Change and IBUKA are associated with artists at Strathmore University and University of Nairobi, respectively.
Among the guests who spoke during the launch held at Nairobi National Museum on July 9, 2014 were Dr Christian Turner, British High Commissioner to Kenya; Paul Gathitu, Deputy Director in Charge of Education at Kenya Wildlife Service; Dr Geoffery Mwachala, Director of Research and Collections at National Museums of Kenya; Leonard Kateete, an artist and Robert Reriani, Executive Director of Wild Life Africa.
The sponsors of the inaugural event—Village Sanctuary and Chege Designs–were represented at the launch by Anouska Athaide and Chege Gitura of Chege Designs, respectively. Also present were first and second prize winners in 2012: Elsardt Kigen and Mike Kyalo, in that order.
As the event was going on at the Botanic Garden of Nairobi National Museum whose manager–William Wambugu, doubled up as the MC– some of the artists present took time to sketch the objectives–linking art, environment and conservation–of the event on paper.