Kuona Trust July Newsletter

Newsletter July 2013

Absolut Art


Absoult Vodka  partnered with Kuona Trust to bring together  the first premier pop art party in Kenya. Six Kuona artists, Dickson Kaloki, Omosh Kindeh, Beth Kimwele,Paul Onditi and Kevin Oduor battled it out in a art competition aimed at creating the best artistic expression on the iconic absolute bottle.

Absolut Art

Final pieces from each of the participants of the Absolut Art competition

Kevin Oduor emerged the winner of the Ksh 50,000 cash prize  for what the judges thought was the most innovative idea. Omosh Kindeh and Sidney Mang’ong’o took second and third place.

Kevin Oduor- Absolut Balnk

Kevin Oduor receiving the cash prize for the best overall design

 The Creative Garages’s Pitstop

pitstop 2

One of the challenges most creatives face is the clear  lack of information in an industry that has been neglected for many years but non the less thrived without government support. To bridge the gap between creatives and various organizations in the arts, the Creatives Garage organized a one day creatives clinic that aims at having all questions answered as well as giving people knowledge on various issues such as copyrights, patents,opportunities available and how they can plug into their activities

Core partners included Wylde International, MCSK ( Music society of Kenya, Copyright board, ICT board, Kuona Trust, PAWA 254, Craft Afrika and Story moja.

Joram Mwinamo, Managing partner at Wylde International speaking on enterprenuership

Joram Mwinamo, Managing partner at Wylde International speaking on entrepreneurship

The Kuona Trust stand during the event

The Kuona Trust stand during the event

The event was a roaring success as those who attended not only got their questions answered but they had the chance to interact with other creatives in different fields and see some great art at Kuona.

The Kuona legacy

Our history is our identity and reminds us the purpose of our existence. Kuona Trust has finally come of age and has  finalized documenting its legacy 18 years on. Read about the genesis of the organization, its founder and how it all came together by following any of the links below:




Discoveries within Exhibition

Anki--final-poster FB

Often times we underestimate the much we could achieve when we dedicate our minds to a process. A group of artists under the instruction of Swedish print maker Anki Kollstrom, discovered a whole new way of applying the intaglio print making technique in a week long workshop at Kuona Trust .Anki was on a two month residency programme at Kuona Trust during which she taught two workshops, one of which was quite successful and participants got to show their work in the exhibition alongside their instructor.

Anki and other participants during the workshop

Anki and other participants during the workshop

During the exhibition, Anki was able to talk about her own work, where she experimented with new materials, mainly found objects she got from the neighborhood.

Anki Kallstrom during the exhibition

Anki Kallstrom during the exhibition

She was interviewed by Margareta Wagacheru, a writer with the local newspaper ‘Business Daily. To read the article click here

Type face and Heroes

Typeface & Heroes

Typeface & Heroes

New media is definitely catching on birthing  a new breed of artists who have abandoned the conventional artistic ways and ventured into a new path. One such artist is Brian Omolo .

As an artist, an Illustrator, and  a graphic designer who is passionate about creativity he is keen on creating work that captures and captivates his audience but still showing some aspect of humor. He exhibited some of his works in an exhibition dabbed ‘Typeface & Heroes at the Qpasa Bar and Bistro which ran from the 2nd to the 23rd of August 2013. The exhibition featured a variety of works that included a fusion of our childhood human and animal heroes.

Guests admiring artwork during the opening of the exhibition

Guests admiring artwork during the opening of the exhibition

Sudanese Vision

Yassir Ali and Fawas El Said  both based at Kuona Trust  held at month long exhibition at the National Museum this month showing some of their old and most recent work. Yassir has a distinct style often identifiable by the Nubian motifs that he uses in his paintings. Fawas, who is the younger of the duo  chose a more contemporary approach in his work, focusing on  semi abstract work.If you missed the show, you can still come and view the work in their studios at Kuona Trust.

Yassir Ali

Yassir Ali

Fawas el said

Fawas El Said

Ndegeya: Silent Possibilities

As the premier art centre in Kenya, Kuona Trust has endeavored to form strong partnerships with other art organizations in the region to facilitate an exchange of knowledge and skills.

One such partnership with the weaver bird art centre in Uganda resulted in one of our artists ,Joe Lukhovi go on a residency at the Weaver Bird  in Masaka, Uganda.During his stay Lukhovi was able to capture breath taking images of the daily day to day lives and activities  of the residents of Masaka .These pictures were shown in the Kuona gallery in a one week exhibition titled ‘Ndegeya: Silent Possibilities’

Ndegeya:Silent possibilities

To read more on  Joe Luknhovi’s experience in Kampala and view some of the images he took,click here

Usi Why Jali

Former Kuona artist Kota Otieno ,now based in Kibera at the new Usi-Why-Jali studios exhibited some of his work alongside other young and upcoming artists in the same area.

usi why jali

‘From the Godown to the CBD‘ exhibition

As the ambitious NAi Ni Who? project by the Godown Art centre drew to a close, the artists from the Godown Arts Centre organized an exhibition at the Alliance Francaise that showcased art work around the theme of the festival, our identity as Nairobians.


Nai Ni who? came to an end in pomp and colour in a  colourful ceremony that saw them appreciate the partners who  helped facilitate the project. Kuona Trust was appreciated for its support during the zone 10 celebration.

Tea time for 216

We periodically allow artists form different art centres and regions to come and work in the space, exchange ideas with other artists and generally take advantage of the create atmosphere to create new work. Early last month, we had the pleasure of hosting one Miriam Kings.

Miriam Kings

Miriam Kings

Miriam Kings is a an artist and a curator from a London who had lived in Kenya during the post colonial period. Her personal practice includes photography, video and audio. During her stay at Kuona she made a visit to her home town of Kiringaga District where she visited a girl’s boarding school and a theological college. The images she took from the tour were displayed in a four day exhibition at Kuona Trust which she named ‘Tea time for 216’ (The number of girls in a local boarding school she visited )

The images celebrated the rich fertility of the ground in the area,  the role of women in the community as well as other images  drawn from her family album.

Looking out at the valley (1)

To conclude her stay, we held a farewell party where other artists had the opportunity to meet and interact with Miriam.

Links, www.miriamkings.co.uk / www.50shillings.wordpress.com

Ermias Ekube’s farewell party and exhibition

Ermias Ekube has been part of Kuona Trust  for almost a year, he has  inspired us, challenged us with his dedication for his work and most of all he has impressed us with the unbelievable talent. Ermias left Kuona last month to venture into greater opportunities abroad and though we will miss him dearly, we wish him the best of luck in his new endeavors.

We had a farewell party for him at Kuona where we presented him with a painting that was a collaborative piece between the artists and staff. Ermias also exhibited some of the portraits he had done of the artists at Kuona in the gallery.

Ermias Ekube receiving a gift from Kuona

Ermias Ekube receiving a gift from Kuona’s Programmes & Marketing Officer Renee Mboya

Portrait exhibition

Portrait exhibition in the Kuona gallery

RIziki Nyambura’s  residency

Kuona has been quite  fortunate to have a vibrant and dynamic set of resident artist from our regional and international residency programmes. Riziki Nyambura who hails from the coastal town of Ukunda came on a four week residency at Kuona

Coming from an area that predominantly creates commercial art  for tourists, she benefited greatly from being in an environment where each artist has a distinctive style and is not necessarily driven by market demands but by the desire of self expression. She had an open studio event where she put her work on display and was able to network with members of the public share her ideas and discuss her artistic practice. Some of the work she displayed included artwork that bore new techniques she had learnt form other artists in the space who challenged her to use new medium.

Riziki Nyambura during her open studio event

Riziki Nyambura during her open studio event

Previous residents: Mario Macilau making headlines globally

“….alarming and provoking, arresting and engaging, public and private but, above all, utterly human”, These are just some of the words used to describe Mozambican photographer and former Kuona resident artist Mario Macilau. During his stay at Kuona, Macilau taught a photography workshop and had a combined exhibition ‘Itumba‘ with performance artist,Ntando Cele, also a resident at the time.

A picture by Mario Macilau

A picture by Mario Macilau

To watch Macilau’s interview with Aljazerra’s Francois Verster click here

Kuona Trust director at Nafasi  and Insakartists 

Our director, Sylvia Gichia was invited to the Insaka Art Centre in Zambia where she taught the artists there basic concepts on art professionalism. She was also able to go to Tanzani’s Nafasi Art centre to finalize agreements that would enable Kuona send out 9 artists on a residency programme at Nafasi and also receive a few from their end. It is our hope that these collaborations will open up Africa and provide opportunities for creatives to work together and share ideas and skills.

Sylvia at Insakartists Trust

Sylvia Gichia at the Insakartists Trust in Zambia


Creative Africa Network

This site is definitely worth checking out.  The Creative Africa Network  Forum is a platform for members to share information—such as calls for artists, residencies, workshops, competitions and awards, calls for papers, funding or other possibilities—providing professional information valuable to established and emerging artists as well as cultural liaisons.

Link : http://www.creativeafricanetwork.com/search/6507/en

Picture of the month

just fff

Metamophosis: Before an after pictures of Kuona Trust’s current location

Quote: ‘ The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire, and before art is born, the artist must be ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation. -Auguste Rodin (12 November 1840 – 17 November 1917)

Rodin was a French sculptor and is   generally considered as the progenitor of modern sculpture.

Have a wonderful month.


Exhibition: Sudanese Vision by Yassir & Fawaz, Extended to Aug. 11 2013 @ National Museum

Nairobi Now :: arts, culture and events

Extension: Until August 11, 2013
Venue: National Museum, Creativity Gallery
Times: 8.30am to 5.30 pm Daily
Entry: museum Rates Apply

Yassir Ali is a Sudanese artist who is currently living in Nairobi, Kenya. A graduate of Fine Art from Sudan University for Science and Technology, Yassir is a member of the Almada Art Group, Union for Sudanese Artists and Kuona Trust. He is also involved in many projects for Sudanese children. Yassir is inspired by Nubian culture and motifs and his art is easily identified by eye-catching forms and colour. He has been exhibiting actively internationally.

Fawaz Elsaid was born in Sudan, and graduated from the College of Fine Art at Sudan University in 2004. He too is currently at Kuona Trust. He has participated in art workshops at the French Cultural Center in Khartoum and exhibits his work in Sudan as well as abroad.

Each artist makes…

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Forget the hustle, stop at the pitstop


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All a creative wants to do is sit and create but sometimes we are forced to get out of our creative holes and get important stuff like copyrighting your work done.

So, you have your portfolio in play, beautifully put together in a leather-cased A3 size bound portfolio. Its kinda, bulky and really stressful to get into a mathree with it coz lets face it, these 14 seater mathree’s don’t have enough space for you, your portfolio and the mama mboga’s sack of potatoes…plus she pays extra to the conductor while you don’t.

This does not deter you and you finally get into town, dressed in your only pair of decent jeans, a shirt and your borrowed father’s shoes (let’s face it…we like us a pair of converse). You walk into one of the buildings that hosts say Copyright Board, just as you are about to press the elevator button, you hear a guy asking…”Kichana unaenda wapi?”. You turn and its the watchie, *Afro Cinema begins* “Naenda Copyright”, you answer. “Lakini hii kitu unabeba si inakaa ka risasi?”, (Really men…really?) You think to yourself “Hii…hii (stammers) ni portfolio yangu.” You calmly respond.

After several back and forth’s and a ‘portfolio ‘review’ he finally let’s you in *halleluyah*.

You get to the copyright office and after a brief conversation, realise that it will cost you a few more shillings than you have in your pocket *the horror*. You walk out disappointed.

Once you get out, you remember the hot single you just dropped and to make some money from it you have to get into another mat and building to get to Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK)…

This August, Creatives Garage, brings you PITSTOP. Pitstop is a event bringing most of the Organizations together so, YOU, the creative need not go through this drama.

Wylde International, MCSK, Copyright board, ICT board, Kuona Trust, PAWA 254, Craft Afrika and Story moja have partnered with Creatives Garage to answer all your questions during this event.

Pitstop will be happening on 10th August 2013 from 10pm to 3.00pm at Kuona Trust.

Joram Mwinamo, Managing partner at Wylde International, will be giving a business talk on setting up and running a successful business. Creative labs will be hosted by our partners. Dj Kim and Fork will be on the decks.

Join us and forget the hustle.


For more info contact the Creatives Garage on :

+254 708 752 575

+254 735 157 500


Twitter: cr8vesgarage