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NGZ turns 60, hosts prestigious showcase

THE year 2017 is promising to herald a windfall for local artistes as it has an impressive line up of activities.

BY KENNEDY NYAVAYA

National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe
National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe

Apart from the National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) celebrating its 60th anniversary, the gallery will host the prestigious International Congress of African Cultures in September.

The event that was last hosted in 1962 in then Rhodesia, will be held under the theme “Brilliant Shining Forever” and will mark a reflection of local heritage as pieces that display the pan-African history and the contemporary will be showcased at separate exhibitions.

This progression of local art is against a backdrop of a socio-economic predicament that has led to the closure of several other platforms within the country’s borders.

In an interview with The Standard Style, NGZ chief curator Raphael Chikukwa said the gallery continues to play an integral part in the country’s arts sector.

“The gallery has been the pinnacle of Zimbabwe’s art as it has been a platform where most artists get to showcase their art work to bigger audiences. As part of marking the diamond jubilee milestone, NGZ will host the International Congress of African Cultures in September, which was last hosted in then Rhodesia back in 1962,” Chikukwa said.

“The International Congress of African Cultures is one of the biggest exhibitions to ever happen in the country and during those days [in Rhodesia] it was mostly a white audience, but now after independence it will be different.”

Chikukwa said they would invite curators, artistes and gallery directors, among other arts stakeholders from around the world to share the present history and where they were going.

He said they would present some artworks from the past six decades that the gallery has been in existence.

Meanwhile, Chikukwa said the country’s participation for the fourth time at the 57th edition of Art Biennale was a huge leap as it exposed local creatives to greater opportunities at the biggest stages in the world.

“Taking our artists to the Venice Biennale has given a new lease of life to them [artistes] at an international stage and they have been very impressive where their works have gained global recognition,” he said.

“Their works are making international waves and this has seen them being counted among the best at big platforms like the Johannesburg Arts Festival and other similar events.”

As a way of enhancing their activities, NGZ has since added film showing nights and music performances every first week of the month.

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