Visual artists want improvement in art sector

18 Jul 2015 12:50pm
WINDHOEK, 18 JUL (NAMPA) – A two-day art symposium on the visual arts organised by the John Muafangejo Art Centre (JMAC) in the capital, has expressed the need for the establishment of an art organisation that will initiate and implement art-related mandates.
The symposium, which started on Tuesday and ended Wednesday, saw various visual artists convene in a bid to map out strategies on how to better represent themselves.
The visual artists said such an organisation will provide a better overview and understanding of what the visual art sector is all about.
“We want to have a better understanding of what the sector is all about; what is happening in other countries across the continent and how the Namibian sector can learn from them,” said Jacques Sakaria Mushaandja, a project manager at JMAC.
He said the symposium was structured as a creative think-tank where visual artists could engage in dialogue and address one another on issues faced by the art sector.
He pointed out that the Namibian art sector needs more people with capacity and skills to carry out the mandates of the different institutions that offer art education.
“We want to map a way forward for the sector, as we all know the sector is not doing so well and we want to address issues related to the economy when it comes to art, curating and collection of art work,” said Mushaandja.
He further added that the artists want Government and willing organisation to help them in making international connections so that their art work can be seen across the continent and the world at large.
Mushaandja called on artists to start working together, saying most of them work in isolation and this makes it hard for them to be seen by their target audience and by the people willing to support them.
This maiden edition of the visual arts symposium was attended by representatives of the National Art Gallery of Namibia (NAGN), National Art Archive, College of the Arts (COTA) and the Visual and Performing Art Department of the University of Namibia, amongst others.
The John Muafangejo Art Centre is a community gallery which forms part of the Katutura Community Art Centre.
It is supported by the College of the Arts and the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre, and provides visual art training to local artists. It also has a gallery where students’ work is displayed.