4 January 2013

Zimbabwe: National Gallery Arts Drive Gathers Steam

The National Gallery of Zimbabwe has embarked on a nationwide campaign, educating teachers and other stakeholders on the importance of the arts sector in the country. Having started on a lower scale and focusing mainly in urban areas and educating various institutions and independent artists, the gallery has spread its wings to all the country's provinces.

The National Gallery's education department has embarked on outreach programmes, targeting primary and secondary school teachers in various communities.

The concept is designed to appraise participants on the importance of theoretical and practical material relevant to art as a subject. The facilitating team consists of the education officer, instructors from the National Gallery School of Visual Arts and Design as well as the National Gallery's Artists-in-Residence.

Twenty-nine primary school teachers and 12 secondary school teachers drawn from Marondera, Macheke and Murehwa attended one such workshop in June last year.

While in Bindura, 35 primary and secondary school teachers from Rushinga, Mount Darwin, Guruve, Dotito and Centenary took part in the programme.

The intention of the workshops was to make the participants aware of gallery-based learning in visual arts, gallery programmes, careers in art, use of various found objects to make artworks have a broader scope of visual arts.

Different elements were used to illustrate these points during the workshops. The use of discarded material and found objects to create works of art and at the same time subsidising costs on materials, were some of the issues on the agenda.

The curator for education, Mrs Tashinga Matindike-Gondo, who heads the Department of Education at the National Gallery, said: "I think it's important for members of our society to recognise and acknowledge the various programmes that national institutions such as the National Gallery are imparting to various stakeholders across the country, especially in remote communities where there are youths.

"The National Gallery is making an effort to spread information concerning the visual arts and its education thereof, with the mandate to ensure that is easily accessible for all," she said.

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