Kuona Trust Open Day

Kuona Trust November/December Newsletter

2013 has been a busy year for us at Kuona Trust.

We took art to the streets with our public art projects, we organized dynamic concept based exhibitions, we collaborated and partnered with other various art centres, artists, and communities around Africa to bring you exciting programmes and events.

Our Residency programme expanded to our regional Partners in Tanzania (Nafasi Art Centre) and Uganda (32 Degrees East, and Weaver Bird).  With the Tafaria Foundation, we opened an outreach art centre in Nyahururu. The Kuona family has grown in numbers to 40 artists at the art center. We held workshops for children, families, adults and schools.

We learned, we watched, and we enjoyed every moment of our time with you.

Our many thanks and Seasons Greetings!

Kuona Open day

Kuona Trust Open day

Kuona’s 2 day open day was a great success and one that will go down in the History of the Visual Arts in Kenya. Our special annual event was themed ART50, and brought together consecutive generations of artists as well as stake holders in the visual arts industry. As we celebrated our art Heritage and artists, the artists were engaged in panel discussions and debates around the journey of the visual arts in Kenyan.  Ways of bringing together the artist community, closer collaborations, the role of artists in the value chain, the role of government, markets and pricing as well as government and how the arts can influence legislation and policy in Kenya. It was also a rare opportunity for younger artists to meet older generation artists who have played a great role in paving the way for the visual arts in Kenya. This event also invited exciting entertainment and performances -notably, worth mentioning, legendary veteran musician, Wag’anagu, who graced the rainy event with his accordion and 2 man band.

Kuona Open Day From Left: Maggie Otieno of  Arterial Network , artist Morris Foit,Sane Wadu, Wakanyote, Leonard Katete,Carol Lees of One Off gallery  and Kuona Trust Director,Sylvia Gichia

Kuona Trust Open Day

Day 2 of Art50 was jam packed with fun filled activities for both the old and the young. All day art activities and workshops- bottle craft, casting and molding, toy car making, painting, and many more. The Art50 treasure hunt and raffle saw some winners take home exciting prizes. Maggie Otieno won our top raffle prize which was a 2 night stay at the Grand Tafaria Castle in Nyahururu. The day’s events culminating in an evening of yet another array of electric performances by vocalist Mutheu Mbondo , spoken word artist Mufasa , freestyle artists Maasai Mbili group and Electrique Afrique Djs & the Beat Parade band.

Kuona Trust Open Day

Kuona Exhibitions – 327 Unreported

327 unreported- Kuona TrustKuona artist Jemima Robinson collaborated with Claire O’ Callaghan to create a captivating art installation aimed at raising awareness on gender based violence in Kenya. The exhibition coincided with the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, an international campaign that puts the spotlight on gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local national, regional and international level.

The exhibition was to run  till the 30th of December 2013 but has been extended to the 6th of January 2014. The Kuona gallery is open every day from the 9am-5pm.

327 Unreported- Kuona Trust

Click here to see a short video of the making of this great exhibition.

Residencies- Tafaria & Nafasi

The Kuona residency programme thrives and has continued to grow providing links to new partnerships within the East African region, in Africa and outside the continent, providing opportunities for artists.

The Kuona- Nafasi residency, is a partnership that will see an increase of artist exchanges across the two countries, Kenya and Tanzania in the next 3 years. Meshack Oiro and Dickens Otieno have both visited the Nafasi Art centre for 4 week residencies and in turn, Kuona has hosted 2 Tanzanian artists. Lutengano Mwakisopile and Thobias Minzi, are both multidisciplinary artist who specialize in mixed media painting and print. Both artists were exposed to new techniques and ways of working at Kuona and after the 4 weeks we were able to see notable change in their style and technique in the works they created.

We were also able to send two artists, Kevin Oduor and Cyrus Kabiru to Tafaria to work with the local community.

Kevin Oduor- Kuona Trust                                                                Casting and molding workshop


Cyrus Kabiru-Kuona trust                                                                  Found Objects Workshop with Cyrus Kabiru

Workshops- Welding, KECOBO & Project Management

Kuona hosted two capacity building workshops and one technical workshop;

–          Copyright & Intellectual property rights workshop facilitated by a legal counsel form the Kenya copyright board (KECOBO) ,

–          Introduction to Project management 3 day workshop facilitated by Arterial Network’s Maggie Otieno and Kuona Trust Director, Sylvia Gichia. and,

–          Basics and introduction to Welding workshop by Kuona artist, Meshack Oiro

Welding workshop Welding workshop


What’s cooking in 2014 at Kuona Trust?

Great news!!  From January 7th we will be able to share with you our 6 month projected calendar for the year. In the New Year we are hoping to serve you better by keeping you informed of all the Kuona events well in advance.

A sneak peek into our activities and programmes-

  • Concept based exhibition by artist Kevin Oduor- Existence II
  • Workshops include- Photography, Batik, welding and sculpting
  • Residency Opportunities to our various partners
  • New Kuona artists in the space
  • Exciting offers and art sales from the Kuona Art
  • Public Art Projects
  • All new Movie nights at Kuona

With your overwhelming and continued support, we look forward to making 2014 even more creative and exciting for our friends and supporters.

Happy New year!!  :-)


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