Kuona Trust March Newsletter

Kuona Trust Newsletter

New artists in residence

As part of Kuona Trust’s  efforts to facilitate the exchange of ideas in the arts community, we welcome two new resident artists in the art space, Ivan who is a sculptor from Uganda and Joseph Weche who is a painter from Kenya and works with the Wajukuu arts center in Mukuru.

These residents will be on board and available for the next four weeks. We will host open studio events and workshops facilitated by each of these artists,so feel free to pass by and interact with them.


Ivan Bwambale

Joseph Weche

New artists

Three more artists join us this month: Dickson Kaloki, Ulrich Zeisluffti and William Brown otherwise known as Uhuru.

Keep a look out for the artists’ profiles and art work on our website www.kuonatrust.org


Some of the artists at Kuona Trust have been conducting a series of mentorship sessions at the  University of Nairobi. The art and design students taking a unit on African art were able to interact with the artists who talked bout their work process and the challenges of being an artist in Kenya.

The artists who have participated thus far include master portrait artist Ermias Ekube, renowned sculptor Kevin Oduor,glass artist Tonney Mugo and Jacqueline Karuti one of the young artists at Kuona who works as a visual and performance artist.

Kevin oduor

Kevin oduor

Tonney Mugo giving a talk on the design process

Tonney Mugo giving a talk on the design process



Vershuka Bohn

Veruschka Bohn works as a  photographer, filmmaker, illustrator and a dancer.She is one of the few versatile female artists in the arts industry today who has managed to work in several forms,pushing social and stereotypical boundaries yet appearing to be very comfortable in all her techniques. 

In her presentation at Kuona Trust she had the opportunity to show her work with the other artists,share her ideas as well as answer questions about her present and future  aspirations.

To read more on  Veruschka Bohn’s work click here.

Veruschka Bohn talking about her work during the presentation

Veruschka Bohn talking about her work during the presentation


Art2bebody-introduction to body mapping by Xavier Verhoest

Art2Be is composed of a group of Kenyan and International visual artists and therapists based in Nairobi.  They work with marginalized groups and  professional health staff in to foster positive, healthy living and social change.

Xavier is one of the co founders of the organization Art2Be and has assisted in facilitating several creative and therapeutic programmes in the commmunity.During his presentation,he was able to explain how the programme has impacted the community, the milestones they have covered since its inception and the challenges they face.

For more information on Art2be and how you can get involved with the organizatin, please visit http://www.art2bebodymaps.com/

One of the body mapping programme  participants

One of the body mapping programme participants

Xavier Verhoest

Xavier Verhoest

Pubic art presentation by Mutheu Mbondo

Public art as Mutheu Mbondo would put it is simply art that is in the public space. These works art are usually placed in a public place to allow the public to actively interact with them. In most cases its aimed at passing a message, creating conversations around a certain topic or even purely for entertainment.

While public art is prominent in most parts of the world, it is yet to catch on in Kenya mostly due to difficulties in obtaining permits from the city council. This ambitious young lady is however set on changing the public art scene in Nairobi by engaging artist in creating artwork.

In her presentation,Mutheu challenged the artists to work with her in doing more public art projects in and around Nairobi even with the current challenges in funding and lack of support from the local authorities.


Kuona Trust’s new funky T-shirts

Our current edition of the Kuona shirt is now available in the shop for a discounted price of KSh 500 bob for adults and Ksh 400 for kids. Hurry up and get yourself one in this limited edition print.

We are now selling easels. Painting will  be much easier once you get yourself  one of these.Pass by the shop and get yourself one.You may also place an order.

 Life drawing workshop

Kuona Trust has started a series of workshops every fortnight, taught by some of our best portrait artists Ermias ekube,Yassir Ali, Fed Abuga among others.

The class is on every second Saturday. For a small fee, participants are taught how to work with pencil and charcoal as a beginners class and further graduate to a more advanced class.

To reserve a place or get more information please call us on 0721262326

life drawing workshop with Ermias Ekube

life drawing workshop with Ermias Ekube

ermias life drawing (6)

Friends of the Arts exhibition at ISK (The international school of Kenya)

The annual FOTA art show and sale organized by the ISK took place between  the 5th and the 8th of   April 2013. It showcased the works of over 100 artists who took part in the exhibition.All profits from the show went to fostering collaboration between local artists and children.

The Manjano art competition

Once again a Kuona Trust artist scooped the top price at this year’s Manjano Art Exhibition. Wycliff Opondo won first prize clinching a cool Ksh 300,000 followed by Ermias Ekube who won second place and was awarded Ksh 150,000.Last year, Kuona artist Omosh Kindeh was the big winner of the annual competition.

The exhibition was organized  with the support of the Godown arts center and is aimed at portraying artistic expressions that explores the human interest aspect of the city of Nairobi. Artists were asked to submit paintings, sculptures and mixed media work that would be entered into the competition.

Wycliff Opondo

Wycliff Opondo

Ermias Ekube recieving his cash pize

Ermias Ekube recieving his cash pize

SWAN day

SWAN day (Support Women Artist Now day) is an international holiday to celebrate the creativity of women artist. Kuona trust celebrated the sixth annual SWAN day in a two day event that took place at the Phoenix Theatre on the 30th of March and Kuona Trust on the 31st of March 2013.The day was a roaring success with artists doing spoken word, dance and music performances. Some craft vendors were also on site selling some of their items. We also had a special book reading by Eva Kasaya , a young woman who rose from being a house help to an interpreter and wrote the book ‘Tale of Kasaya’ published by Kwani trust in the year 2010.

Some of the artists who participated in the event included Tabitha Wa Thuku, Maggie Otieno,Veronica Wanjeri,  Lydiah Dola, and Masallah among others

Core sponsors included  Kuona Trust, Phoenix Theatre, Do A Little Fund, Women Arts, Ghetto Exposed, Grandpa Records and KCOMNET.

kuona trust/swan


The SWAN ladies getting their groove on

The SWAN ladies getting their groove on

Kuona trust outreach programs

Kuona trust is involved in many community outreach programmes that aim at getting art back into the community. We have partnered with several organizations who assist in making this happen. One of our artists Maryanne Muthoni is currently working with a rehabilitation home for boys in Kabete teaching them various ways of expressing themselves artistically.

kuona outreach

kuona programmes

The Sane Wadu Centre, based in Naivasha is also working with the local community, which mostly includes young adults, in various genres of the visual arts including painting and printmaking.

We have also partnered with Shabu Mwangi of Wajukuu art center in Mukuru slum.He is also currently working with people from the surrounding community, teaching them  basics art techniques.

Cyrus Kabiru 2013 TED fellow

TED is one of the most talked about shows in the planet hands down! It not only shows some of the most innovative and creative minds but also inspires new techniques and technology.

Their main mandate is to share some of the best ideas people have come up with hence their slogan’ Ideas worth sharing’. For the year 2013, TED chose one of the Kuona artists to be part of this conference. Cyrus Kabiru’s use of recycled material to make aesthetic pieces of artwork has gained him worldwide recognition.

photo (1)

Cyrus Kabiru with other TED fellows during a tour

Cyrus Kabiru with other TED fellows during a tour

He travelled to San Francisco where he met with other TED fellows including the young Kenyan Maasai boy who found a way of keeping lions from attacking their cattle at night using flashlights.Read more.

Richard Turere

Richard Turere


1.Exhibition: How I see politics by James Mbuthia

Venue: One off gallery

Dates: 7th -24th  April

2. Exhibition: Works by Sudanese artist  Abushariaa Ahmed

Venue: Red Hill Art gallery between Banana Hill and Ngecha Village

Dates: Now till the end of April 2013

Contacts: Mobile + 254 700 108989

3.Exhibition: Works by Gor Soudan at the Talisman restaurant from 16th April- 7th May 2013


1. ArtGemini £5,000 cash prizes 

The ArtGemini Prize is a celebration to promote international contemporary art for emerging and established artists around the world.

It is an independent competition, open to all artists from anywhere in the world. There is no age limit for applicants. The winners will be announced at an exhibition of the finalists’ works in London.

In addition, selected artists will have the opportunity to showcase and sell their works in London while supporting our selected charity

2. The 2013 Mask prize: Kenyan Art competition for young people

 Please be advised that the 2013 MASK ART PRIZE, the annual national art competition in Kenya, is now open to

  • any Kenyan school (state or private, polytechnics, colleges and universities), and
  • any young person up to the age of 25  who lives in Kenya or is a member of the Kenya diaspora.

Enter the artworks to win Prizes and exhibit at the Nairobi National Museum in June 2013 and the SaatchiGallery in London in September 2013.

Deadline: 1st March 2013

Prizes include:

  • The three best artists will be awarded a prize of Ksh 55,000 each, and one of them – a trip to London.
  • One schoolwith the best and highest number of artworks entered, will be awarded a year’s supply of art materials worth Ksh 100,000.
  • The winning artists and the representatives of the winning school will be invited to the Prize-Giving Ceremony in Nairobi on 11th June 2013.

ENTER for FREE any number of artworks (paintings, drawings, prints, collages, or works made
out of recycled materials) on paper, canvas, or boards on the theme ‘What makes you proud about Kenya’, not smaller than A4 (30x21cm) or larger than A1 (85x60cm).

Picture of the week

Never permit a dichotomy to rule your life, a dichotomy in which you hate what you do so you can have pleasure in your spare time. Look for a situation in which your work will give you as much happiness as your spare time~ Pablo picasso

A life size kite soaring into the sky during the smART power project with Miguel Luciano

A life size kite soaring into the sky during the smART power project with Miguel Luciano


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