Kuona Trust April Newsletter

Upcoming events

Save the date for: ‘ Beyond Stereotypes’ an exhibition  by Tonney Mugo

This is a one of a kind  exhibition to be held at Kuona Trust with the  artist working predominantly in glass. Tonney Mugo’s designs on glass seeks to reflect and enhance the architectural setting while expressing a meaning for aesthetic that goes beyond mere decoration.In this exhibition, he experiments with the different forms glass can take as well as  opening up our minds to various possibilities on its functionality.

Exhibition opens on the 7th of June  @Kuona Trust and runs to the 19th of June 2013

tonney A3poster

Nai Ni Who? Project

From May 11th to August 3rd, Nairobi is in the spotlight, sharing who we are – the real Nairobians, warts and all! And celebrating our specialness!

Nai Ni Who? Is a 12 week festival exploring the city of Nairobi, it’s residents & neighbourhoods. Who makes up Nairobi?

The project will host 12 festivals in all covering 12 neighborhood zones.

Like the Nai Ni who? Page on Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/NaiNiWho?fref=ts

Or check out their website http://www.nainiwho.com/

Kuona trust will be spearheading the Nai Ni Who? festival for the Kilimani area from the 8th -14th of June 2013.Lots of activities and events to look forward to.

nai ni who

Welding workshop

For the first time this year,Kuona Trust will be holding a welding workshop instructed by some of our best sculptors working in mixed media  forms.The workshop is open to all those who have a passion for sculpting and would want to learn this skill.

The dates for this will be communicated,so keep watching this space.

kuona trust workshop

Past and current events

Akili dada happy hour

Akili Dada is a leadership incubator investing in the next generation of African leaders. It’s goal is to empower young women  through  mentorship and educational sponsorship programmes as well as exposing them to different career fields.

Students sponsored by Akili Dada on a tour of Kuona Trust

Students sponsored by Akili Dada on a tour of Kuona Trust

On the 16th of May 2013,Kuona Trust  hosted the Akili dada happy hour attended by several guests and  a group of panelists who tackled the topic ‘the future of art education in Kenya’.Some of the panelists included

The three hour event saw the audience actively engage with the panelists concerning art,copyright issues, education and freedom of expression. Those who could not attend the event followed the discussion on twitter where had the chance to contribute their ideas on the same. For those who were visiting Kuona for the first time, it was a fantastic opportunity to mingle with the artists and look at some of the artwork displayed in their studios.

Pannelists-Sylvia Gichia,June and Judy Ogana

Inset: Sylvia Gichia,June Gichui and Judy Ogana

Screening of Ndoto za Elibidi

Though we were unable to screen the film ‘Divisions/Premier’ due to some technical hitches,we were treated to a spectacular film by SAFE ghetto by the name ’Ndoto za Elibidi’ (The dreams of Elibidi)

This film is set up in a stage/reality mix where the audience is both the spectator of a play on a stage and actual events that take place along the same story line. The story is that of a backward community who suddenly begin to segregate the family of a man known as Elibidi upon the realization that some of them were infected with the HIV virus.

Slowly the community begins to pull out of this mindset and encouraging others to go for HIV testing.All this unfolds to make a one of a kind film filled with humour and rib cracking satire that is  ordinary language used by common man  in Kenya. Ndoto za Elibidi is one of those films you just can’t miss out on. All those who would like a copy could purchase it through the Kuona shop or get in touch with us  on 0721262326

Screening of Ndoto za Elibidi

Screening of Ndoto za Elibidi

New artists

Kuona welcomes two new artists to the space,Dickson Kaloki and Dennis Lemek

Dennis Lemek   attended the Creative Art Centre, he works with  pastels and charcoal but also enjoys experimenting with paints and canvas.

Dickson studied interior design  at the Buruburu Institute of Fine Art, he has exhibited both locally and internationally and joins Kuona Trust from the GoDown art centre.

The ‘ Big red book project’

As we say goodbye to our artists in residence, we recognize all the wonderful work they have done and exchange of ideas, experiences and knowledge they have shared with the artists.

The residents, Joseph Weche (Kenya) and Ivan Bwambale (Uganda) were at Kuona trust for a period of four weeks. They had the opportunity to tour various art galleries and space in Nairobi as well as mingle with other artists in the Kenyan art scene.

Joseph Weche

Joseph Weche

Weche works predominantly  in charcoal although he has tried his had in photography.He is  part of a larger group of artists based at the Wajuku Art centre in Mukuru, Nairobi.The centre works in the community  teaching art as well as tackle other social issues affecting the people.

During his residency, Ivan Bwambale initiated a public art project dabbed the Big red book project’ that moved to different parts of Nairobi drawing a mixture of varied reactions. The public was invited to write on sheets of paper mounted inside a wooden box curved out in the form of a book.The project required people to write what makes them proud to be Kenyan and what they think would bring us closer as a country with many tribes.

Ivan also had the chance to have a Master class power  salon at Pawa254 where he gave a talk about his work as an artist and what he hopes to achieve with the big red book project.

The 'Big red book' public art project

The ‘Big red book’ public art project

The output of their residency was presented in an an open studio event that took place at Kuona trust at the end of their residency period.

open sudio

Artist presentations

We were privileged to interact with found object artist,Ifeoma  from Nigeria. She is a sculptor who focuses on up cycling of plastic bags to create functional objects with an artsy touch.All her materials are recycled and reused to make new art work so that nothing is thrown away.

The artists were challenged  to use re-cycled materials in their artwork as an alternative medium.

Ifeoma Anyaeji

Ifeoma Anyaeji talking about her work


We have had some  interesting people walk through or doors, notably was the visit from the Mayor of Denver Colorado who toured Kuona trust in the company of  colleges.  They are part of the sister cities organization that aims at creating collaborations with different cities in the area of infrastructure,arts and culture among others fields.We are  looking forward to future collaborations with them in an effort to take Kenyan art beyond our regional boundaries.

Contribution to scholarly works

Kuona plays a key role in the development of research findings and contribution of knowledge in the arts. We have had a great number of students and researchers come into the space to gather information for their projects and thesis on issues ranging from  the impact of arts on the community to the export of authentic pieces of artwork from Africa to western galleries and museums.

As an organization we are comitted to the development and advancement in knowledge in the arts which is unfortunately lacking in our country.We welcome all those who would want assistance and guidance on the same.Interested parties can send us their inquiries on info@kuonatrust.org


Finishing a sculpture

Renowned sculptor,Gakunju Kaigwa instructed a  workshop on how to finish a sculpture. The process was done practically on a fibre glass sculpture by a fellow artist Meshack Oiro. The workshop was well attended with about 18 artist following keenly on the step by step process.They learnt how to give a sculpture the perfect finish taking into consideration the kind of effect one wants to bring out.

Sculpture by Meshack Oiro

Sculpture by Meshack Oiro

Exhibitions around town

Art a glance

From the 2nd to the 31st of May at the Kenya cultural center (National theatre )

An exhibition organized by the little art gallery, featuring artists include Ermias Ekube, Adil Roufi,Wycliff Opondo, Gor Soudan and Anthony Mugo.

KCC e-invite

Masquerade by Anthony Okello

At one off gallery now till the 26th of May to the 26th of June 2013 @the one off gallery

Opens Sunday 26th May at 11pm till 5pm.


Exhibition by Justus Kyalo

Opening at the Red hill art gallery on the 2nd of June 2012 from 11am- 5pm

This is a retrospective of the artist’s work from 1993 to date

For more information, call 0700 108 989

Shop update

Good news!! The shop is now open for longer on Saturday. Due to increased demand, the shop will now be open till 4pm on Saturday for those who want to do some last minute shopping.

You can now get all your art supplies at the Kuona art shop. We also have small paintings, gift items and gift vouchers that would be ideal as a gift for a loved one.

Kuona shop (3)

 Interesting on line articles on Kuona artists

Paul Onditi

Paul Onditi

Paul Onditi on the Addis Rumble http://addisrumble.com/?p=3215

Artist Brian Omolo

Artist Brian Omolo

Brian Omolo in the Business Daily online newspaper http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Graphic-designer-taps-technology-in-digital-art-venture/-/539444/1733116/-/jxugb5/-/index.html

Cyrus Kabiru

Cyrus Kabiru

Cyrus Kabiru in the Business Daily online newspaper http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Kenyan-artist-stuns-the-world-with-his-C-Stunners/-/1248928/1739382/-/3w92mpz/-/index.html

Peace through service

Peace through service

Kuona trust group exhibition at the Village market http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Artists-showcase-works-for-charity/-/1248928/1713940/-/4smkt8/-/index.html


Intellectual Property / Copyright Forum for Photographers in Kenya


The Photographers Association of Kenya (PAK) invites all photographers : pro’s, amateur, enthusiasts and students, to the Intellectual Property/Copyright Forum, for photographers.

In an effort to clarify on this topic for photographers in Kenya, PAK has invited special guests : 2 legal practitioners and a representative from the Kenya Copyright Board to educate & answer queries on this topic.

This event will be held at here at the Pawa Hub, from 4.00pm, on the 11th of June 2013. Entry is free and the event begins on time so please keep time.

‘Lets come together and knock down the challenges in the Photography Industry’

What are some of the issues you would like clarified? Please email:njeri(at)Pawa254(dot)org

Source: Pawa 254 blog


South African Visual-Sylt Foundation Visual Art Residency 2013

Open call for applications

Due to an overwhelming number of applications received, the deadline for the Sylt Foundation Visual Artist Residency has been extended to 07 June 2013.  The Sylt Foundation calls all mid-career contemporary visual artists to apply for the two month South African Visual Artist’s Residency offered as part of the Sylt Foundation’s International Residency Programme. One residency will be awarded annually to a South African artists or a South African resident who have sustained a career profile of a minimum of seven to ten years in the contemporary visual sector.

Who is eligible to apply for the Sylt Foundation South African Visual Artist Residency?

• Practicing contemporary visual artists who are South African citizens or  Permanent Residents of the Republic of South Africa

• Visual artists with a sustained career profile of 5 to 10 years

• Artists who have had a minimum of two (2) solo exhibitions and  participated on at least one (1) curated group exhibition

• Only artists able to take up this Residency within sixteen (16) months of  selection may apply

Application & Selection Process

• Only digital applications will be accepted

Applications to include:

• Copy of South African ID document or a Permanent Resident permit

• Full Curriculum Vitae

• Artist’s Profile – 500 words

• Artist’s Statement on their art practice – 800 words

• Six (6) images of key/ recent works

• Two (2 ) Letters of Reference from visual arts sector professionals

Please note:

• only MS Word Documents or PDF documents will be accepted

• only JPEG images accepted no larger than 500KB each

• no email to exceed 5MB.

Submission of entries to:
Art Source South Africa
enquiries: 011 447 2855
Mon-Fri 9-4pm
Enquiries via:
Kelly Mcerlean Art Intern
011 447 2855

Akili Dada & Creative Commons Salon Nairobi

Creative Commons


Akili Dada is thrilled to announce the inaugural Creative Commons Salon in Nairobi, organized in partnership with Creative Commons Kenya and the Center for Intellectual Property and Information Technology, the School of Open Kenya, and Akili Dada.


The event will be held on Thursday, June 6th from 5-7:30pm at the iHub, with the discussion beginning at 6pm. All are welcome. Entrance is free and light refreshments will be available. No RSVP necessary, but you can let us know you’re coming on Facebook.


We will be talking about using technology as a democratizing tool, especially one that will level the playing field for education and opportunity in Kenya. The technology that surrounds us everyday – our mobile phones, the Internet, Google search – has the power to create access to resources and opportunities for people and groups that are typically excluded – like girls and women, and people from underprivileged communities. Unless we are intentional about building an inclusive tech space within Kenya – and getting support at the government level – those groups will remain on the outside.

How can we tap into the power of collaboration and inclusion that technology allows to spur growth and social change?

How do we better equip girls and women to gain access to technology in a way that transforms their lives?

 What policies are in place to support these critical advances, and where are the gaps that we’ve yet to fill?


Panelists include:

Paul Kiwehlo, Creative Commons Tanzania

Bitange Ndemo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications

Michael Murungi, Editor/CEO, National Council for Law Reporting

Judith Owigar, President of Akirachix, a network of women in technology

Simeon Oriko, Co-founder of Jamlab

Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, Executive Director of Akili Dada (Moderator)


We’re thrilled that the iHub has agreed to provide the venue for the event, and the National Council for Law Reporting has generously agreed to sponsor catering.

We’ll see you there!

 About Akili Dada


Akili DadaAkili Dada is a leadership incubator investing in the next generation of African women leaders.  We invest in high potential young women from underprivileged backgrounds who are passionate about social change.  The main components of our program; scholarships, mentoring, and leadership training, are designed to work seamlessly together to provide underprivileged young women the essential preparation and qualifications they need to access key decision-making roles and leadership positions.  Learn more and join our community at akilidada.org.

 About Creative Commons


creative commonsCreative Commons helps you share your knowledge and creativity with the world. It is an international non-profit organization that develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation. Learn more at creativecommons.org.

Call for Applications :International Exhibition Dak’Art 2014

– THE CALL FOR APPLICATIONS for the International Exhibition Dak’Art 2014 is launched. It concerns contemporary African artists and African Diaspora artists.
– Deadline: September 15, 2013.
– Thanks to all of you to spread largely this application call in your country to institutions, professionals, art schools, ministry of culture, art centres, etc.
– How to apply: www.biennaledakar.org/2012/spip.php?article191

For questions regarding applications, thank to you use this email: candidature@biennaledakar.org.
For other inquiries: info@biennaledakar.org

Publishing/Copyright workshop & Screening of ‘His to Keep’ @ Kuona Trust this Sunday

This Sunday, Kuona will be hosting two exciting events, a publishing workshop and the screening of  ‘His to Keep’

The publishing Workshop will kick off at 2pm and will be facilitated by Vered Ehsan.


Vered Ehsani

Vered Ehsani has been a writer since she could hold pen to paper,which is a lot longer than she cares to admit. Originally from South
Africa, she lives in Kenya with her husband, their two children and an assortment of animals with varying degrees of wildness. When she isn’t writing (veredehsani.blogspot.com), running a radio show (http://africacreates.net/) or daydreaming, she pretends to work as an environmental consultant. Her work background is in engineering and environmental management.

This will be an interactive discussion specifically for writers,publishers, and anyone interested in writing, publishing and e-books.
The agenda will be as follows:
–       Conventional and Self Publishing: the pros, the cons and how to decide
–       Contracts: What you need to think about before you sign
–       Self-publishing: What it is, how to do it and why it’s not for everyone
–       E-publishing: Why and how you should break free of geographical borders

This is absolutely free for all who would want to participate.

For the evening,we will be screening the film: ‘His to Keep’, a short film made in Kenya,written and directed by Amirah Tajdin. Made in conjunction with DYMK Films and 8486 Films.



HIS TO KEEP is a poetic take on the consequences of Kenya’s fight for freedom as seen through the heart broken words of a veteran who feels he lost more than he won during the struggle. Now, in his lonely twilight years, he realises he might have made a sacrifice that ultimately left him with a deep sense of regret and with no loved ones to grow old with.

The screening will take place at Kuona Trust. Doors open at 5pm.
There will be a cover charge of KSH 200  .
 In the meantime please watch the trailer herehttp://vimeo.com/66309618
All are welcome


Akili Dada founder, Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg honored at White house

Source: The examiner 04/03/12

Author:Amy Crawford |

Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg

The professor in the politics department at the University of San Francisco is also the founder of Akili Dada, a leadership incubator for girls and young women in Kenya. Earlier this year, the White House honored the Kenya native as one of 14 “Champions of Change” with roots in East Africa.

What was it like being honored at the White House? Incredible! For me, it’s a life-defining experience.

Tell me about your work with Akili Dada. What we’re doing is building up and investing in a core of African women. We start out with teenage girls who are the brightest in their country. They have already started doing community service, and we essentially enable their ability to continue doing that. We provide scholarships. We make sure that they are networked.

How does your work in Africa intersect with your academic work and teaching? For me, they are built into each other. The ways we structure Akili Dada’s interventions are really informed by feminist studies. The other side of it is, I bring so much of my experience with Akili Dada into the classroom. I think it’s important for young people, especially in America, to understand the rest of the world, especially Africa.