Munandi Art Studio: inspiring artists

Zambia Daily Mail | Chanda Mwenya:



IT IS somewhat common practice for career artists to undertake an artist-in-residence programme when they are active professionals in creative arts.
This arrangement allows the artist to work and explore other creative possibilities in other communities away from home.

Przemyslaw Jasielski; Hi-Fi (Ford), Mixed media. 2006.

Working in a completely new environment also allows the artist to experiment with different material, experience a different life and perhaps most importantly, interact with a different culture.

Several artist-in-residence programmes around the world highlight the importance of cultural exchange.
In many cases these programmes are part of museums, art galleries, studio spaces and even cultural festivals.
The programmes take place in urban spaces as well as rural settings. The artist-in residence programme can be seasonal, ongoing, or arranged to commemorate a particular one-time event.
There is no standard model for an artist-in-residence programme. The endless possibilities make the  expectations and requirements vary greatly from one programme to another.
Essentially, the relationship between the resident artist and the host community is often an important aspect of the residence programme.
While it is common for artists to focus and investigate on their own practice during a residence programme, considerable time is invested in the social activities of the host community.
Some of the common activities artists usually perform during a residence programme include giving presentations, workshop facilitating, collaborating with local artists which is normally concluded with a public exhibition.
In Zambia, Munandi Art Studio offers Creative and inspiring space for artists within an emerging community in Lusaka.
Situated in Ndeke Village some 6km from the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Munandi Art Studio was founded in 2004, by Zambian artist Kalinosi Mutale and Norwegian artist Sissel Bergh.
Kalinosi recounts that the idea for starting the artist residence programme was inspired by his experience during a two-year work period that he undertook at Rijksakademie in the Netherlands.
“In 2006, Sessil and I bought land in Ndeke Village and built our own structure that also housed the studio, with facilities for artists’ accommodation.  As there was no art education in Zambia at least when we started, Munandi Art Studio’s main objective is to provide an environment for young Zambian artists to develop their artistic talents and exchange ideas,” he said.
It is rewarding that Munandi Art Studio has grown its reputation beyond the Zambian border and now features on the reputable online portal of global residencies.
Some of its past residents include Zambia’s versatile artist Wanda Sakala, Japanese artist Norio Ishiwata and Polish Multimedia artist Przemyslaw Jasielski.
During his residence Przemyslaw gave lectures on his own work and on the developments of art in his home country in Europe. He concluded his programme with a workshop which was attended by 15 local artists.
One cannot deny that Munandi Art Studio is not only an inspirational space for artists, but also a resevoir of art knowledge.



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