By Ogova Ondego
Published November 23, 2014
An exhibition of the best 40 art work from a national art competition for youth in Kenya opens in Nairobi on December 4, 2014.
Dubbed “Room for Giants: Art for Change Awards and Exhibition 2014”, the aim of the two-month event that first took place in 2012 is to facilitate and enhance wildlife conservation awareness.
Lydia Gatundu Galavu, Curator of Contemporary Art at National Museums of Kenya (NMK), says the main objective of the competition and exhibition is “to embrace, promote and share with the rest of the world the preservation of the rich African heritage, culture, wildlife and environment; we also seek to promote sustainable art and to reward best practices in wildlife and environmental conservation and in art among youth.”
Four winners shall be selected from among the 40 participants whose work has made it to the exhibition.
While the grand prize is a ‘fully sponsored world class experience of Kenya’s rich natural heritage in a top wildlife destination where the winner will spend quality time with an internationally-renowned artist in a two-week personalised art apprenticeship programme’, the second prize is ‘a tour to Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve on the Kenyan Coast’ and the third prize ‘a voucher of KSh50 000 to purchase art materials.’
All the 40 young artists whose work is selected for the exhibition are expected to participate in an artist’s residency to be ‘facilitated by a team of East Africa’s top professional artists’ at the end of the project.
Mooted in 2012, this is the second edition of the annual National Heritage Art Competition for Youth aged 18 – 25 years exhibition with the aim of helping “promote the role of art in enhancing wildlife conservation awareness”. It is organised by NMK with the support of Village Sanctuary, Chege Designs, Wild Life Africa, Strathmore University’s Art for Change (MALLER) and and University of Nairobi’s IBUKA.
NMK and its partners say the winning pieces shall be donated by the winners ‘to raise funds for the conservation of wildlife.’
Meanwhile, a private viewing of ‘Into the Trees’, an exhibition by Yony Waite that runs through December 2014, took place at Nairobi National Museum on November 23, 2014 as a continuing exhibition by Jak Katarikawe at NMK’s Nairobi Gallery was extended to February 1, 2015.