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Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Zambia must market art as a tourist attraction - Kaale

By Andrew Mulenga
In Zambia, the arts have been espoused with tourism under an umbrella ministry for just over two years now, however, in art circles there is still an air of disappointment coupled with a commonly held belief that the ministry pays more attention to the tourism sector than it does the arts.

Art is an important tourism product -
Senior lecturer - tourism, Jack Kaale
But in an effort to break the ice and strengthen the relationship between tourism and arts, the Hotel and Tourism Training Institute Trust (HTTI), Zambia’s prime hospitality, tourism and travel industry training institute has launched an art awareness programme that involves study tours of museums and art galleries. Last week a group of students and lecturers lead by HTTI senior lecturer-tourism, Jack Kaale visited the Henry Tayali Gallery and the Art Academy without Walls (AAWW) in the Lusaka show grounds.

“For a long time we have not taken art seriously particularly in the tourism sector. But now we have realized that art is one of the most important products that we can use to enhance tourist operations. So we need to start marketing art particularly as an attraction. Fine, we have the Victoria Falls, but art is one important aspect that we can sell as a tourist attraction,” said Kaale in an interview at the Henry Tayali Gallery.

Kaale explained that this was the groups second trip, the first one being a visit to the Lusaka National Museum. He said that HTTI hopes to create an inventory of museums and art galleries in order to see what they had to offer and to make students more well-informed so that they can be able to give museum and gallery tours as well as speak knowledgably about art.

Visual artist Sarah Chibombwe (r) engages the
tourism students at the Henry Tayali Gallery
“There is a lot that we didn’t know. Surely, the product knowledge we have gathered during this trip will definitely help the students with the tour guide aspect of the course, it will also help them when they enter the industry full time. They will be able to conduct art tours,” he added.

During the study tour, students inquisitively engaged the artists whom they found working. They quizzed the artists on everything from how they managed to survive on art alone to whether as artists they felt any benefit of being incorporated with tourism under one umbrella ministry.

All the students appeared honestly interested in art, for many of them it was a first experience in an art gallery and studio space and during their tour of the AAWW were entertained to a soulful rendition of the hymn Yes Jesus Loves me performed by David Makala who was found working on a sculpture in readiness for a forthcoming exhibition.
Art appreciation should be included in the tourism
training syllabus - Zangose Sakachoma and Mirriam Kaluba
“To be honest, the trip has ended up being more interesting than I thought it will be. I’ve seen a lot of paintings that have inspired me to take a deeper interest in art, from now I can promise that I will be visiting regularly”, said Zangose Sakachoma a HTTI first year student.

Mirriam Kaluba, another student concurred with Sakachoma and proposed that the art tours should not only be part of the study tour programme but should be a key component as part of the curriculum, the two students collectively suggested that art appreciation should even be included in their syllabus.

HTTI is rated as one of the world’s leading hospitality training institutes offering courses in tourism, travel and IATA in association with the Fairview Hotel it also offers students hands on experience in handling accommodation, conferences, outside catering, banquets and the culinary arts. Its traditional Zambian cuisine served from Monday to Friday is a crowd-puller.

Artist Kelvin Zangata (r) with tourism students
at the Art Academy Without Walls
For the moment, today, Saturday 27th June, Foxdale Court along Zambezi Road in Lusaka’s Roma residential area hosts Arts Day 2016 from 9:00 - 17:00hrs. Scheduled for family fun, the event is aimed at celebrating visual art, poetry, music, drama and dance. All activities will take place in the court yard and entry is free. The show opens with music by Ngenda Konoso and Chembo, a poetry session with sculptor Charles Chambata, performances by Circus Zambia, live painting and sketching by Sarah and David with puppetry by Usher Phiri, viewing of artwork will be throughout the day, the display will feature a variety of works from leading Zambian visual artists.

Meanwhile, Barclays Bank has announced a call for entries for the 2016 Barclays L’Atelier art competition for emerging artists aged 21 to 35. In a press release published by Barclays Africa Group Media Relations Manager Lexi Ball this week, the announcement states that the judges will be looking for ‘thought-provoking works that push traditional boundaries’.

According to the release, Lerato Bereng, L’Atelier head adjudicator, states that bold and daring work will make the grade in this year’s competition where, with 10 African countries now participating, the stakes have moved higher.

“This year we will be looking for thought-provoking and well-executed work that challenges and pushes boundaries. We are not only looking for pieces that demonstrate formal qualities, but rather for artists who really make us think,” states Bereng who is also an associate director at Stevenson Gallery in South Africa and a member of the finalists’ judging panel in two previous L’Atelier competitions.

“Don’t hold back. That’s my advice; nothing is too much or too subtle. Artists should focus on why they are making that particular work, and the sentiment behind it, and bring that to life,” she maintains.

Tourism lecturers, students and visual artists at the
Henry Tayali Gallery in the Lusaka Showgrounds
In the same press release, Dr Paul Bayliss, Absa Art and Museum Curator, declares it is an exciting time not only in the evolution of the competition, but within contemporary African art as well.

“In addition to South Africa, we’re delighted to welcome artists this year from Botswana, Zambia, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Uganda, Tanzania, Mauritius and Seychelles. It’s fitting the competition enters this new phase at a time when there is a lot of new energy fuelling our young African artists, and I hope this translates into exceptional entries this year,” states Dr Bayliss.

Both Bereng and Dr Bayliss reiterate that the 2016 prizes present unrivalled opportunities for emerging artists. These include a six-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris (main winner); three-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris (Gerard Sekoto Award winner – for South African artists only); a three-month residency at the Bag Factory Artists’ Studio in Johannesburg (merit award); a two-month residency at the Sylt Foundation in Germany (merit award) and a one-month residency in New York (merit award). Barclays L’Atelier 2016 is hosted in conjunction with the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA).
Artists are reminded that the registration process this year is being facilitated exclusively online at Registration is open until 4 March 2016, and all entries must be received at your nominated collection point by 16:00hrs on this date. Entrants can make their drop offs at their nearest collection point between 29 February and 4 March 2015, Zambia’s collection point is the Henry Tayali Gallery.

1 comment:

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