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Monday, 7 March 2016

Foxdale Court Arts Day, hive of family fun

By Andrew Mulenga
The Foxdale Court Arts Day, an annual event held along Zambezi Road in Lusaka’s Roma residential area is surely proving to be a delightful addition to the arts calendar in Zambia. Designed as a small art fair in the shopping centres courtyard, it celebrates poetry, music, drama, dance, handicrafts and the visual arts. It also promise as a potential hive for family fun with its Kids’ Corner.

Artist, Christopher Simbule guides
youngsters during the event
In the Kids’ Corner, children had the opportunity of working under the mentorship of visual artists Christopher Simbule and Sarah Chibombwe who encouraged the youngsters to work together; making collaborative works of art in small groups which were later displayed on a notice board. The youngsters were provided with free materials and they could be seen enjoying themselves for the entire duration of the event from 09:00hrs to 17:00hrs last Saturday.
“I’ve had a lot of fun here; I’ve made lots of new friends. I used all my favourite colours when making a painting with them,” said Nsama Mulenga a grade 3 pupil at Nachingwa House School.

Another popular spot at the event was the LsCon stand which featured live drawing by talented young Zambian cartoonists. Present were the likes of artist Jarell Thompson who has done some story boards for a Zambian animated movie, Mwelwa Musonko creator and illustrator of his own comic, The Sweeper, Chimwasu Njapawu who had a collection of caricatures of Zambian politicians and Bwanga 'Benny Blow' Kapumpa a freelance writer and content manager for Dagon Media. Kapumpa, who is also co-creator and writer of The Mundane Kid explained they were at the event to publicise LsCon, short for “Lusaka Comicon” an event founded by App-developer Mweetwa Singombe and inspired by the San Diego Comicon, brings together lovers of comic books, anime, video games, movies, global pop culture and visual arts. Scheduled for 30th April at Paark Xtreme, No. 24 Ngumbo Road, Longacres it is also aimed at showcasing the work of talented young Zambians who do not get a chance in the limelight.

Cartoonist Jarell Thompson (l) and writer
Benny Blow (middle) with visitors at LsCon stand
Chawe Jane Chisha, an upcoming artist who was found near the LsCon stand said she was excited at the chance to mingle with other creative people at Foxdale Court Art Day.

“I’ve been shy to publicly show my work but having walked around this space, I feel encouraged to take up art seriously and not treat it as a hobby, I think it’s time for me to start showing my work in exhibitions” explained Chisha as she shyly produced a sketch pad which was filled with intricately detailed pencil drawings.

But, clearly the cornerstone of the event, the display of contemporary art by some of Lusaka’s most popular artists was a crowd-puller. As can be expected when art is exhibited in alternative spaces, outside the gallery circuit such as restaurants or shopping mall hallways the idea is usually for it to be seen by viewers who do not necessarily visit galleries as well as lure new-found buyers, but things do not always work as planned, sales-wise. This
Nachingwa School pupil Nsama Mulenga
in the Kids Corner, the most popular
spot at the Foxdale Art Day
is exactly what happened with the Foxdale display, however charming, it failed to make any sales on the opening day, nevertheless, in case you missed out, you can still catch a glimpse of the various paintings and sculptures which will remain on show in the courtyard for another week. All the pieces are up for purchase and the display features work by Aubrey Chali, Danny Lwando, Joseph Shakulipa, Mapopa Manda, Gilbert Nsama, David Makala, Kingsley Kapobe, Monica Muleya, Owen Shikabeta, Mwamba Chikwemba. Samuel Kasongo and Roy Finnie.

Foxdale Court Art Day is organised and sponsored by the shopping centre management, and organised in conjunction with in conjunction with the Visual Arts Council and National Carts Council, the opening cocktail on Friday 26 February was supported by Carling Black Label and Fortress Media while the event was officially opened by National Arts Council Chairperson Mulenga Kapwepwe.  

Foxdale Court has expressed the need to purposefully create more platforms for artistic expression in the country and Managing Director Angelika Nyboe Andersen said that it is necessary to provide platforms for artists to showcase their work and enable them to network with likeminded individuals from their industry as well as share their work with the general public.

Graphic Designer Kelvin Kamanga with
artist Chawe Chisha at his t-shirt stand
“As Foxdale Court we are happy to provide an alternative platform for artists to exhibit their work. We see ourselves not merely as a commercial development but also as a creative hub,” she said.

She said Zambia needs to proactively support the arts in whatever way they can as art can be an alternate way of generating incoming and contributing to the country’s economy. Foxdale Court has in the last year hosted other artistic events such as Fashion Day Out in October last year, Aperitivos and also hosted Bongohive’s Meet the Industry events.
Meanwhile, the Red-Dot Gallery in association with The Art Shop Zambia Limited are currently hosting an exhibition of paintings by Chipika Simanwe and Emmanuel Chibaye entitled Red Handed Collabo at the Zebra Crossing Café off Addis Ababa Drive in Lusaka. The paintings will remain on display until 5th April 2016. – e-mail:

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