By Ogova Ondego
Published December 1, 2014
Conservationist and author Kuki Gallmann is expected to preside over the awards ceremony of the second National Heritage Art Competition at Nairobi National Museum (NNM) on December 4, 2014.
The activity, to take place in the Creativity Gallery of NNM, shall also serve as the official opening ceremony for “Room for Giants: Art for Change Awards and Exhibition 2014” whose aim is to enhance wildlife conservation awareness in East Africa that is experiencing an unprecedented upsurge in the level of poaching of elephants and rhinos.
And perhaps the choice of Gallmann, an Italian-born Kenyan national, author and environmental conservationist who has written books like I Dreamed of Africa, African Nights and Night of the Lions as chief guest wouldn’t have been more apt.
The art to be displayed for two months in the Creativity Gallery was selected from the work submitted by youth aged 18-25 years to the National Museums of Kenya’s National Heritage Art Competition whose aim is “to support and promote young talent by giving them opportunities for growth and visibility on a national platform.”
As can be deduced from its title—National Heritage Art Competition—this biennial event that was launched in 2012 on the theme ‘Experiencing Kenyan Heritage through Art’ is national.
The 2014 edition on the theme ‘Wildlife Conservation’ shall see top three winners presented with awards by the men and women—Muriithi Kinyua of University of Nairobi’s School of Art & Design, Chege Gitura of Chege Designs Ltd, Elizabeth Nasubbo of Department of Culture and Emmanuel Kariuki of NNM’s Exhibits Department—who judged the inaugural event from which Elsardt Kigen emerged first followed by Mike Kyalo and Rose Savala while James Njoroge made away with a consolation prize. Artist Kamal Shah joined the judging panel in 2014.
Lydia Galavu, Curator of Contemporary Art at NNM, says Room for Giants: Art for Change is a creative and artistic initiative with the aim of nurturing budding talent besides highlighting the importance of wildlife conservation.
Meanwhile Nairobi’s Kenyatta University is also preparing to host what is touted as “Art Riot: The biggest art event in Kenyatta University” on December 5, 2014 between 2.00 PM and 9.00 PM.
Tracy Kibue, one of the organisers of the show, says “all forms of art” shall be on show and hence the title ‘Art Riot.’