Zimbabwe: All woman art exhibitions for Bulawayo

By Jeffrey Muvundusi – VISUAL arts enthusiasts in the City of Kings will have an exceptional prospect to witness classic talents by female artists as they showcase their distinguished works during an art exhibition slated for Saturday June 2 at Suburbs, a low density suburb in the city.

The exhibition titled “On the Stoep” will have a collection of a diversity of artistic pieces by 15 female painters all drawn from the second largest city. National Gallery in Bulawayo director Voti Thebe will be the guest of honour at the occasion.

Jeanette Johnson who is the brains behind the five year old art exhibition told this reporter that more than 200 art pieces will be on display at Number 16 Park Road’s perfect outdoor garden in Suburbs.

“We have a beautiful outdoor grain which has been specifically designed for such an inspiring event. Of the 15 artists who will be showcasing their talent each of has at least more than 10 pieces hence we expect more than 200 works on the day,” Johnson said.

“Participation of women in the arts industry has been generally low, so by this we are trying to give the ladies a chance to exhibit their talent without any challenges from the opposite sex,” she said. Alliance Francaise de Bulawayo funds the potentially colourful art showcase where the organisers chose not to have a theme in a bid to spread out levels of creativity. Johnson who will be also displaying her paintings explained how the apparently unique exhibition came into being.

“The idea of an “On the Stoep” Art Exhibition was born in 2006 whilst I sat on my veranda in Clark Road one beautiful, sunny morning. It seemed the perfect setting for an exclusive little solo art exhibition.”

“However, I had long thought that there was need for fellow female artists in Bulawayo to mingle and interact. It was therefore necessary to hold a “groupie” and find a bigger venue,” she further explained.

According the Johnson, the first “On the Stoep” art exhibition was successfully held in 2006 followed by another one in 2007. On each occasion a percentage of all takings were donated to various charities.

But due to a bleak economic climate that prevailed between 2008 and 2011 the organisers were forced to put the exhibition on hold. She however said from now onwards the event will be held once in every year as they also seek to promote women in the industry largely dominated by men.

The participating painters include Vali Cohen, Gail Burnet, Shamilla Aasha, Cynthia Chamisa, Ruth Galloway, Sam Jacobs, Sikhulile Sibanda, Belinda Marshal, Georgina Winch, Sally Jones, Peggy Lendrum, Nonhlanhla Mathe, Uliana Mozgaleva, Jannice Everitt and Johnson.