By Ogova Ondego
Published May 10, 2014
Six young artists are set to receive prizes amounting to Sh250,000 (about US$3, 125) in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on May 22, 2014.
To preside over the award ceremony for MASK (Mobile Art School in Kenya), an annual creativity competition with prizes targeting people below the age of 25 in East Africa and its Diaspora that shall be held at University of Nairobi shall be industrialist Manu Chandaria and politician Isaac Ruto.
Mobile Art School in Kenya, a United Kingdom-registered charity that organises the MASK Prize and whose motto is ‘Strengthening creativity and innovation in young people in East Africa’, say the 2014 MASK Prize shall be presented at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC (USA) On June 24, 2014 while the selected artwork will be exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London, UK, in September 2014.
Saying participants do not have to be ‘good at art’ to take part in the competition but only need to be ‘good at thinking’, MASK says its aim is “to promote and encourage creativity amongst young people and schools.”
Five Prizes shall be awarded to five winnersâ€”four artists and a schoolâ€”at the Prize-Giving ceremony in Nairobi.
But how much shall each contestant receive?
Individual artist: Artwork on paper/canvas or photographs: 1st Prize: Sh50, 000 (US$625); 2nd Prize: Sh25, 000 (US$313).
Individual artist: Music Videos: 1st Prize: Sh50, 000; 2nd Prize: Sh25, 000.
Schools: Artwork on paper/canvas or video: Prize: Sh100, 000 (US$1,250).
Paintings on paper or canvas, or short music videos of people singing, dancing or playing instruments were judged for their creativity by the jury that comprised contemporary artist Michael Craig-Martin, children’s book author Kaye Umansky, Nairobi-based artists Kivuthi Mbuno and Jak Katarikawe and artist and MASK Director Alla Tkachuk.
Other judges were Jennifer Wambugu, Head of Creative Arts, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development; Lydia Gatundu Galavu, sculptor and Contemporary Art Curator, Nairobi National Museum; Milena Kalinovska, author, curator and Director of Public Programmes, Hirshhorn Museum of Contemporary Art, Washington, DC; Francesca Wilson, Director of Education, Saatchi Gallery, London; Nik Apostolides, Associate Director, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; and Sir Wilard White, an opera singer.
MASK, that says it “provides young people with non-formal practical training for creativity and innovation in order to mprove their well-being, employment opportunities, effective leadership and entrepreneurial skills,” further says that it has, since 2006, “worked in more than 20 schools and exposed its programmes to more than 25,000 young people in Kenya.”
The Award Ceremony is hosted by the School of the Arts and Design, University of Nairobi, and MASK with prizes supported by an organisation called Rivers Foundation.
The organisers say they shall serve light refreshments at the awards ceremony that shall take place at 2.00PM.