Introducing our new Programmes and Marketing Manager

We are happy to introduce the new member of the Kuona managerial team, Dave Ojay.

Ojay takes over from Renee Mboya and brings in a wealth of knowledge and experience to his new job having worked in both the performance and visual arts industry.

He has enjoyed continuous involvement in the arts, project implementation and events management while working with local and international organizations. Ojay’s new role is principally targeted towards implementing the development all Kuona Trust programmes and marketing.

We would like to thank the Kuona family for helping make Ojay’s transition to Kuona Trust a smooth and pleasant experience.  Please join us in welcoming Ojay to his new role.

‘Ice’ by Mike Kyalo

The Kenya Art Diary 2013 Residency programme was unveiled this year, awarding 2 winners with a one month fully paid residency grant to Kuona Trust and Kitengela Glass Centre.  Kuona Trust welcomed Mike Kyalo, an emerging artist from the GoDown arts centre, while Ezra made Kitengela Glass his home for the month of September.

The exhibition titled ‘Ice’ was a metaphor for Kyalo’s experience at Kuona. He had this to say about his experience: ‘my perception of what I created initially was like Ice, just a rigid block but now it’s like water, free to spread to different places’.

Adapting to a new environment always takes time and the pace of transition varies from one person to another.

Once in a while we all get a sense of confusion, doubt or nervousness when faced with a different culture or environment.

The exhibition dubbed ‘Kuteveva’ by Kuona resident Sarah Schoderer was a reflection of her experience in Kenya.  All the paintings bore an element of an item or a person who had made an impression on her during her stay. ‘The Kibera chair’ a favorite for most, was a painting whose colors and layout were inspired by her visit to the Maasai Mbili Art Centre in Kibera. Sarah graciously donated this piece to be part of the Kuona collection.

Harambee 63

This  installation by Wambui  Kamiru brought history from books to something that we could all relate with, ‘Harambee63 was based on the concept of ordinary people and revolutions.

The 63 gumboots on display bore faces of various African leaders who had either been part of a revolutionary process or a catalyst of the same.

The whole exhibition sparked up interesting and much needed conversations about the history of our freedom fighters and the role played by the younger generation today. A strong message came across that history should not be forgotten. Ordinary people are challenged to believe that one person can make a difference.

For media reviews click on the links below:

Youtube; EBRU  News; Business Daily

 Marking World Peace day

For the second year, Kuona partnered with Puma and Films4Peace to host and screen some of today’s   most innovative contemporary artists visually interpreting the subject of peace. These engaging works were screened and discussed at cultural and educational venues globally and online via websites, blogs and media channels on and after World Peace Day on 21 September.

Kuona Trust was one of the screening centers in Kenya that showed the 2013 Films4Peace

Unfortunately, on the same day 63 Kenyans lost their lives and others were injured during the Westgate Shopping Mall terrorist attack in Nairobi. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families of the victims.

The Nafasi Residency

The Kuona- Nafasi Residency Programme kicked off in October with visiting artist Lutengano Mwakisopile (Lute) from Nafasi Art in Tanzania. Lute was at Kuona for a 4 week residency and had an opportunity to work with the 38 artists in the space.

Lute had a one day open studio event at Kuona Trust where he displayed work he had made during his residency. He was able to experiment with glass and make artwork using the sand blasting technique.

Mixed media sculptor Meshack Oiro was the first artist from Kuona to travel to Nafasi Art Centre. He held his first workshop in Dar, Tanzania on the 26th of October.

Kuona Workshops

Adobe workshop

This was a 4 day workshop facilitated by artist Brian Omolo on Photoshop and Illustrator. At the end of the workshop, participants were able to display the work they had made and also talk a bit about their experience.

Copying Africa

A workshop facilitatedby resident artist Sarah Schoderer.

Sarah led artists in discussions around art history with an insight into contemporary African art and its ability to give answers to society’s questions. Discussions around the formal aspects of contemporary art in Kenya were had and artists were challenged to think about reasons for the lack of a standard identifiable format of Kenyan art.

Out and About

Xplore Art

Kuona Trust had an opportunity to showcase art at the 2013 Xplore Travel Fair that took place on the 5th and 6th of October at the Karen Blixen Museum. The fair brought together stakeholders in the travel industry in a two day event that showcased the best that Kenya has to offer.

Breast Cancer fundraiser at the Polo Club

For breast cancer awareness month, Kuona Trust helped fundraise for various treatment initiatives by displaying art at the polo club. The exclusive event took the theme ‘An afternoon of Canapes and long island Iced teas’.

Lubumbashi Biennale

Director of Kuona Trust, Sylvia Gichia, was invited by the Triangle Network to attend the 3rd Lubumbashi Biennale in DR Congo organized by Picha and curated by Elvira Dyangani Ose. The Biennial provided opportunities for networking and linkages between a number of art institutions across the continent were created. Overall,Sylvia was particularly impressed by the installation and performance in the city by artist Angela Ferreira and the exhibitions and documentary screenings by Sven Augustijnen, Sammy Baloji, Lard Buurnman, Guy Tillimen, Sabelo Mlangeni and more definitely presented a memorable experience for all that were there.

Paying tribute to a legend:  Samuel Wanjau

Samuel Wanjau father to Jackson and Anthony Wanjau , both extraordinary sculptors passed away in his Mukurweini  home and was laid to rest in a colorful ceremony on the 4th of October 2013. Kuona Artists and staff were able to attend the funeral and pay their last respects.

Samuel is famed for making the sculpture of the Mau Mau freedom fighter that was commissioned by the government but was later on turned down. This master piece stands tall at the Paa ya Paa Art Centre in Ridgways where people often visit to catch a glimpse of it. Some of his works will be on auction during the upcoming art auction of Modern and Contemporary East African Art in November at the prestigious Villa Rosa Kempiski hotel.

30 years ago:  An exhibition by David Mwaniki

The artist took us down memory lane in an installation exhibition displaying an array of handmade toys creatively designed from objects and materials that are typically found in local neighborhoods. He investigates the idea that urbanization has crippled our children’s creative process and the ability to use practical and innovative methods to make their own play items.  This exhibition opened on the 24th of October and runs until the 3rd November.


Call for Kuona -Nafasi Residency

Kuona Trust has partnered with Nafasi Art Centre to enable an exchange of 18 artists every year between the two countries. The exchange programme is aimed at capacity enhancement and stimulating creative processes while improving the quality of work produced by artists.

Artists are advised to apply by sending their biographies, artist statements and a few images of their work to info@kuonatrust.org .

Applicants must be willing to travel to Tanzania for a period of 4-5 weeks

Call for Kuona Tafaria Residency

Kuona Trust invites applications by individuals interested in taking part in a one month residency programme at Tafaria Lodge in Nyahururu.