Zim visual artists want own ministry

The Zimbabwean art scene is lagging behind because the current ministry is burdened with the responsibilities of other sectors, say visual artists.

Speaking at the National Art Gallery in a discussion dubbed ‘Zim Artists’ Experiences in International Platforms’ last week, the artists said they needed an art ministry to create a vibrant art scene.

“I was overwhelmed with the art industry in Senegal where musician Youssour Ndour is the minister of art. That enables art programmes to be successful unlike here where the ministry has other sectors like education and sports to take care of,” said Nancy Mteki, a popular photographer who exhibited at the ‘Dark Art’exhibition in Senegal last year.

“The art in Senegal is so vibrant that even young children are aware of arts activities on their calendars. It is a major part of their culture – but like here,” added Mteki.

Another visual artist, Silas Matope, who went to Nigeria with Portia Zvavahera and Mtabisi Phili, said Zimbabwe has a lot to learn from the West African nation.

“In Nigeria I saw that art is a serious business that has a lot of investment. For example they hold auction of arts products where you see many people attending.The last time an exhibition was held at the National Art Gallery it failed. We need a ministry to enthusiasticallysupports us,” said Silas Matope.

Stephen Garan’anga, who has travelled to many countries, said Zimbabwe could be an art powerhouse.

“We have celebrated artists here and wherever I travel people ask me about the art here. Undoubtedly we have the potential of being among the best,” said the veteran artist.

Post published in: Arts

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