Multiple award-winning visual artist, Forbes Mushipe, says the future of Zimbabwean arts would prosper when supporting partners and other players continue to invest in grooming young artists.
Mushipe is respected for abstractive award-winning sculptures namely Barika (2011), Melodies from the mermaid (2012) and Nhapwasikana (2013) that intelligently exploited gender-related issues.
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Speaking in an interview, the Midlands province’s only commanding contemporary visual artist said that by instituting the Forbes Mushipe Visual Arts Programme he has learnt that new creative strategies are needed to grow the industry.
Mushipe, also a creative director of Forbes Mushipe Mentorship Visual Arts Programme, an initiative supported by the European Union (EU), Culture Fund and Creative Commons, said in comparison with other industries and academic areas of studies, art deserves equal attention from researchers and academics.
He believes that the modern social and educational systems are in a hurry to culture and search for the finest as opposed to imparting character and skill in young people. Mushipe said:
We should provide responsive education that provides solutions to the society. Many of our artists have artworks and the markets are slowly opening up now after Covid 19, where areas our academics have the certifications for skills they are failing to extend or sell to the market. That development alone is a problem to our education system. All we are saying as the creative community is we have the pointers to what may substantively help the government.
The most decorated artists further said Midlands should pursue a path that would create more artists as much as possible in readiness for future demand for contemporary art. He added:
As Midlands, let us not be part of “the walking tribe” but rather build on a deliberate and populistic strategy aimed at naturing artists who would consider specialising in different genres as a goal.
Mushipe added that the creative sector in Zimbabwe has raw talent that needs to be developed for artists to reach their maximum potential.
He also said the participation of more active artists will change the perception that art is a passive industry, unworthy of studying and job creation.
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