The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Hub of Artistic Excellence

THE Harare Polytechnic since independence has made available high-calibre education in the fields of visual arts and graphic design which has contributed to the Zimbabwean and international art community at large.

The Polytechnic, through its division of Higher and Tertiary Education, has a wide range of courses in art and design, and an equally impressive arts alumni, which include such names as Chiko Chazunguza, Masimba Hwati, Gareth Nyandoro, Portia Zvavahera and Virginia Chihota.

The institution offers some of the most reasonably priced courses in art and design available in Zimbabwe, and boasts the presences of professional practising artists as lecturers who are mindful of the depth and breadth of their discipline.

The exciting art and design courses address equally the development of skills, conceptual ability and personal direction. Aiding students to acquire, or deepen their craft foundation, for effective artistic and personal expression, within the Zimbabwean society and beyond.

The educational goals of the Polytechnic, especially in terms of art and design, are realised by a distinguished and dedicated faculty and lecturers of high professional accomplishment, together with profound educational concerns.

Committed to the philosophy that practitioners in the field can best impart the professional knowledge, skills and perspectives of today, the school draws its faculties from achieved artists, designers and scholars, who are nationally recognised for their activities and contributions to the arts.

Regardless of background or occupation, the Polytechnic accepts diverse students, young, old or, middle-aged, working, retired or professional.

Artistic novices and experienced art students who have a desire to learn and grow academically and professionally in their fields.

It is, however, a pity, to note that many artists in Zimbabwe are not aware of the Art and Design courses offered at the Polytechnic, which offer an opportunity for an enriching experience.

With the recently appointed enlightened principal at the helm of the Polytechnic, the popularity of the Art and Design classes is slowly growing, due to the fact that famous artists-in-residence have made their services available to bolster the educational standards offered by the institution.

The Polytechnic is also renowned for its technically proficient equipment which is made available for the students' use.

Several graduates from the Polytechnic are now enrolled in international universities, in America, Australia, Canada, South Africa and the Eastern bloc countries. Part of the Polytechnic's appeal is the spacious art studios and its proximity to the city centre.

There has currently been a spate of exchange students, lecturers in sculpture and architecture from as far afield as Ireland, (Jason Parr), Japan and Korea, who have all volunteered their services to share new skills and technologies in the fields of Art and Design.

Dr Tony Monda holds a PhD in Art Theory and Philosophy and a DBA (Doctorate of Business Administration) in Post-Colonial Heritage Studies. He is a writer, art critic, practising artist and Corporate Image Consultant.

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