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

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.

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.

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.

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

  • Boniface Mwangi, photographer and founder of Picha Mtaani and Pawa254
  • Sylvia Gichia, Director of Kuona Trust
  • June Gachui, Lawyer and Performing Artiste
  • Judy Ogana, General Manager of The GoDown Arts Centre
  • Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, Founder of Akili Dada

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.