Kuona Trust October 2012 Newsletter

Stone Sculpting workshop

We are glad to announce a one of a kind workshop at Kuona Trust from the 22nd of October 2012.  Come learn how to curve stone with Anthony Wanjau, one of Kenya’s premier sculptors – perfect for beginners and  experts alike.

Interested parties can register through the Kuona office.

One of the pieces by Anthony Wanjau

 A Golden State of Mind  by Brian Kivuti

We look forward to Brian Kivuhi’s photography/video and sound installation exhibition in the Kuona Trust Gallery  on the 25th of October. The Exhibition- A Golden State of Mind will run until the 1st of November 2012.  Brian’s installation is part of a project study that seeks to examine our perception of life and our environment.

A Golden State of Mind

The Hidden Beauty  by Adil Roufi

With the pressure that comes from the media to try and orient us toward certain fashion frenzies and fads, there is one artist who explores the agony faced by many women in the quest of seeking the perfect face, perfect body or perfect look.With simple strokes, Adil reveals the beauty in simplicity and shows the subjective yet prejudiced nature of beauty as defined  by the modern world.

Join us from the 17th of October 2012 as we examine and celebrate  beauty as the artist defines it.

The art works will be on sale for the entire period of the exhibition which ends on the 22nd of October 2012.

Hidden Beauty Exhibition


The Woman’s Vote Exhibition  found it’s way to the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi.

Artist Maryann  Muthoni who is based at Kuona Trust had the opportunity to have a public installation of  her exhibition ‘The Woman’s Vote’ at the KICC in Nairobi. This travelling exhibition was installed as part of a Gender Forum facilitated by the Heinrich Boll Foundation and the first of a 4- month series focusing on gender dimensions in elections.

Maryann was invited to join Hon. Rose Waruhiu – Former Member of Parliament and Baraza Nyukuri – Gender Consultant  as one of the panelists among other stakeholders. The artist had the opportunity to address the public in a Q&A session and the results from the voting exercise as part of the Installation, were shared with the public at the end of the forum.

Maryann Muthoni in a pannel discussion at KICC

Woman’s vote installation at KICC

Gor Soudan, Paul Onditi and Meshack Oiro at Runda Water in Nairobi.

As we are always looking for alternative spaces to show artwork, this exhibition was a refreshing change from the white walled galleries we gravitate toward during  openings. Pieter Leenkneget opened  up his home to three of our artists Gor Soudan, Meshack Oiro and Paul Onditi, for a two day showing of their Exhibition, ‘Just not Yet’.

The art works were strategically placed in different areas of the house and the garden where visitors could view the extraordinary works by the trio whose work always manages to trigger imagination and leave one in awe.

Paul Onditi and a guest during the exhibition

Gor Soudan’s installation

Meshack Oiro with a fellow artist Michael Dete

Seats of Power Exhibition by William Wambugu

At a time when the political temperatures in Kenya are rising due to the upcoming general elections, William Wambugu tries to capture the changes that Kenya is going through  drawing from the memories of his childhood.

Curated  by Samantha Ripa di Meana owner of the Roots Contemporary,the Seats of Power Exhibition bears a deep concept which is relevant  to those of us who are keen  on politics. William has exhibited in various other places and is set on moving the exhibition to other galleries .

We had a fantastic opening and various school groups were invited to view the exhibition and have discussions around the subject.

William Wambugu showing guests an installation that was part of his exhibition

Peterson Kamwathi with Samantha Ripa di Meana at the Seats of Power Exhibition

World Peace Day screening

For World Peace Day, Kuona Trust in collaboration with PumaPeace presented a screening of the 2012 films4peace project featuring individual works of 21 different artists visually interpreting their subjective definitions of peace. This was part of an annual  global peace initiative organized by PumaPeace.

Members of the public were also invited to a one night only Exhibition of  a selection of studies by Peterson Kamwathi’s in the Kuona Gallery. Peterson Kamwathi is amongst the 21 artist that were featured in this years films4peace project.

Some of the studies by Peterson Kamwathi shown during the Exhibition on World Peace Day

The audience during the Film4Peace screening


SAMOSA Festival

The SAMOSA festival kicked off in high energy with different events organized in various locations around Nairobi. As part of the programme, and a few weeks before the festival, Kuona Artists were invited to create sculptural pieces that were unveiled during the grand music concert in the Karura forest. The art works were also on show during the Sidi Goma Concert at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre grounds which marked the grand finale of the entire festival.

Around the stage,sculptures made by Kuona artists that were to be auctioned during the festival.

Sidi Goma performing at the SAMOSA Festival’s grand finale concert ‘Pigo la Moyo’

Kuona Trust at the  CFC Stanbic Bank International Polo Tournament

This year Kuona Trust was invited to the CFC Stanbic Bank private clients polo tournament, a highlight of all the horse sport events that go on during the entire year. This year’s tournament was held at the Polo Club in the Jamhuri Park, Nairobi.

The event offered the invited guests  the chance to not only enjoy the games but to view and purchase the artwork on show as well as learn more about Kuona and how they can get involved in the art community.

Artists work on display at the Polo event

Participants of the International polo competition

Braeburn and Training for Change School Workshops

Young adults from the Training for Change School in Nanyuki and Braeburn Secondary School Nairobi attended a found objects workshop under the instruction of one of our artists Gor Soudan. The found objects workshop involved  the use of recycled materials to make aesthetic pieces of art.

Students from Braeburn with their art teacher during a workshop

Students from Training For Change school with artist Gor Soudan during the found objects workshop

The Train-the -Trainer Workshop at the Godown

The  Arterial Network T-t-T Workshop organized by the GoDown Art Centre kicked off on the 1st of October.

The  workshop  marked  the coming together of creative minds  from East and West Africa.The Train the Trainer  programme sessions  focused on Cultural Leadership,  Arts Advocacy, Arts Marketing, Project Management and Arts Fundraising  using toolkits on these subjects developed by Arterial Network.

The team had a chance to visit Kuona Trust and see firsthand how the organization operates. Among those who came include Faisal Kiwewal the  director of Bayimba Festival in Uganda, Carole Karemera the Arterial Network Country Representative in Rwanda, Michael Odhiambo from the Ministry of Heritage and culture in Kenya, Gadi  Ramadhani former Kuona Trust resident and Founder of the Koko Ten Centre for Curatorial Practice in Tanzania, renowned sculptor Big Mama amongst others.

Faisal Kiwewa,Odile Tevie and Sylvia Gichia in the Kuona Trust gallery

Robert Devereux Visit

If you’ve visited Kuona Trust Centre, you have probably seen the stretch of green studios on one side of the compound. These workshops hold about 10 artists and came at a time when Kuona had just moved from the GoDown Art Centre and was settling in at at a new site in Kilimani.

These studios were generously donated to us by  Mr. Robert Devereux . Devereux , a former partner of Richard Branson of the Virgin Empire is  a well know art collector and philanthropist. Locally he has a collection of over 50 artworks from artists such as Anthony Okello, Bertiers,Wiki of Maasai Mbili art studio in Kibera, Michael Soi and Beatrice Wanjiku among others.

We were able to sneak a couple of shots during his recent photoshoot at Kuona Trust last week with photographer Sven Torfinn, being used for an article in the Business times newspaper. Robert will be featured as an  art philanthropist having also sold about 329 paintings at Sotheby’s in London for a charity auction.

Robert Devereux at Kuona Trust

Robert Devereux with photographer Sven Toufen during a photoshoot at Kuona Trust

Ermias Ekube’s  Presentation

A painter, engraver and  sculptor, Ernest Ekube is a graduate of the Addis Ababa College of Fine Arts and Design who has just recently come to Kenya and joins the  fast growing Kuona Trust family.

Ermias shared his past and most recent works with the other artists ranging from self portraits and  sculptures and paintings partially influenced by his culture and background.

Ermias Ekube during his presentation


Kuona is a non-profit organization and always looking for ways towards sustainability. We appreciate all the help and support that we continue to receive from our friends and partners.

We would like to thank the following people for their kind donations:

  • Arvind Vohora for the many VHS movies which we added to our collection in the resource centre
  • Zia Manji for their kind donations towards the Resource Centre.
  • Phyllis Muthoni who graciously donated a laptop that is now being used by the office staff
  • All of you who have donated books -Peterson Kamwathi, Ian Vale and Yuriko Vehara
  • Ian  Vale, our trustee who graciously gave of his time to train the staff and graciously lent us his cameras to use in documenting our projects.

Book of the Month

This month we feature the Book Wall Art in Kenya by Arvind Vohra. It is not only available for perusal  in our library but also on sale at the Kuona Art shop.

The author  takes us far back to a time when wall art was very common in Kenya and  brings to light odd yet  fascinating pictures of an art that  is slowly fading away in our society .This book  is both captivating and exciting and a definite must read/own for all lovers of Kenyan art.

Opportunities for Artists
Animation Workshop

An Animation workshop for advancing artists who want to branch out and experiment with new ways in which to explore their existing artwork facilitated by Meghan Judge
The workshop runs over four Saturdays and covers an introduction to animation; the basic technical breakdowns of working with movement and timing; experimenting with stop motion techniques; using a light box to develop knowledge of stacked-layering for scene movement; and editing your footage for film.

Workshop dates:  27 October and 3, 10, 17 November 2012

 Location: Greatmore Studio event space – 47/49 Greatmore Street, Woodstock, 7915

Please note that this is not a digital animation class where cartoon / 3D animation is explored – this workshop is aimed at advancing artists who want to branch out and experiment with new ways in which to explore their existing artwork.

Please contact: info@greatmoreart.org by 12:00pm on Friday 19th of October 2012.

Call for Proposal: Artist in Residence 2013 at Nafasi Art Space, DSM, Tanzania

Nafasi Art Space is a young Visual Art Space in Dar es Salaam with 11 studios, in- and outdoor exhibition space and 15 member artists. Nafasi aims to be the leading Contemporary Art Centre in Tanzania that provides a platform for artists through development, production and entrepreneurship in the Visual Arts by providing training, exchange and exhibition of contemporary arts locally, regionally and beyond. We are looking for our third visual artist to join us for a period of 2 months (beginning 2013) for a residency. The goal of the residency is to have an active art exchange between you and the Nafasi artists.


We are looking for:

· Contemporary visual artists working with ample experience – note, this call is not open to current art students

· Experience and willingness to conduct workshops and community work

  During the residence period, you will:

· Work on your own project at the Nafasi premises, stay for the full duration of the residency and will actively participate in the Nafasi events

· Give a visual presentation of your work at the beginning of the residency to the Nafasi collective and interested Tanzanian artist

· Conduct a two week workshop for Nafasi artists -in one go or spread over the residency period

· The residency will end with a public presentation/exhibition and produce one outside Artwork for Nafasi

We offer:

· Travel and visa costs

· Housing

· Studio space

· A daily allowance/per diem

· A grant sum for material

 Please send in your application before 15 Nov 2012 by e-mail to: nafasiarts@gmail.com

· Motivation letter explaining why you would like to come to Nafasi Art Space

· Artist statement and CV

· Portfolio overview: Minimal 6 images of your work, not bigger than 1 MB per image

· Three references

Selection will be made by a jury. Only the considered artist will be contacted before 15 Dec. with detailed information on the residency including practical information on visa, health insurance requirements and any other documentation required.


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