Under the #Whatsyourstory campaign, the National Art Gallery provided 82 visual artists from across the country with materials to show and tell their stories on how the recent pandemic has affected them.
The local visual artists gathered last weekend at the gallery to paint, create and tell stories the best way they know.
Gone are the crowded openings at the museums, theatres and gallery shops that bring potential buyers. Gone, too, is the tourist trade that supports national galleries and their artists.
“A pandemic is a serious constraint to artists – and as a result, the material was provided and the artists got to work. The past couple of months have seen the world engulfed in a grip of fear and panic, and the Namibian art industry was certainly not excluded, as it hampered our operations negatively,” said the CEO of NAGN Snobia Kaputu.
Kaputu added that through the creative process, the initiative will provide mental health to them and provide relaxation to the art lovers.
“Everyone has a story, a moment, an experience, a history, an emotion, social activism – it’s time that our Namibian visual artists from all corners of Namibia get an opportunity to share their stories,” she said.
The campaign also offers artists an opportunity to create art pieces that will later be displayed in the NAGN galleries and at strategic public places across the country.
The art gallery has invested the amount of N$172 377.17 towards acquiring each participating artist with materials, while an amount of N$150 000 was provided by the National Arts Council
of Namibia for the artists’ honorariums. The chairperson of the national arts, Patrick Sam, says during the difficult times of covid -19, art can be used to spread and create awareness. “The artists know how to deepen our spiritual connections and create intellectuality but if the artist is hopeless or walks around without faith, we are not getting to where we need to get and that’s why the national art council needs to make the initiatives that we are making for an artist to be in a chair where they choose to invest,” he explained.
Besides, he urges the nation to support artists and their efforts.
“Together, we can reach for greater heights and make a meaningful contribution towards the standard and recognition of the art industry locally and globally,” he said.