The National Gallery School of Visual Arts and Design will this year hold the third edition of the “Green Shoots Exhibition”. The exhibition is held annually with the premise of exposing the graduate students to the art world and gears them up to practice as economically sustainable practitioners.
In an environment where most school leavers are not guaranteed any opportunities pertaining to employment, the school strives for the empowerment of candidates to live off its own means by developing practical, flexible skills that generate income for young people at the institution.
On show will be new paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs and new media works by second-year students complemented by the first-year students alongside works by artists in residence at the school.
The artwork aims to provide the viewer with a gradual transition between work and the contemporary influence. This is a litmus test for the First Year students. They are introduced to the experience of exhibiting in galleries and the networking facet that can be gained by this. The development of skills in each of the disciplines that they have been instructed is present in what is a time-line to the development of their skills over the course of the two-year duration of their studies.
The “Green Shoots” theme is deeply rooted in the presentation of the débutante artist who is by nature, symbolic of the seasonal shifts that occur in the environment. The title of the show is embodied by sprouting sprigs that appear blossoming at the commencement of the rainy season.
With regards to the current season, wherein little rainfall precipitated, the work on show casts a different angle to the exhibition’s overall theme as it goes against natural conditions and bears an aspect of creative force through hardened circumstance.
Each of the graduating artists will present artwork in tune to their experience and perspective, relative to the traditional theme; while presenting their uniquely developed style to bolster a new crop of individual styles that shall in turn be noted and injected into Zimbabwe’s contemporary art scene.
The National Gallery School of Visual Art and Design students are set to expose their talents to the art world and follow the path walked most recently by illustrious alumni such as Virginia Chihota, Portia Zvavahera, Wallen Mapondera, Munyaradzi Mazarire, Chikonzero Chazunguza and Admire Kamudzengerere. Green Shoots marks the end point for the student’s work in 2015. In the run-up to the exhibition, a series of endeavours took place to assist the development of the students skills throughout the year such as a workshop by visiting Swiss artist, Chantal Moret Calpini, who gave the students an intensive course in painting.
Another workshop was facilitated by the School of Visual Art /New York City, which specialised on new media skills with particular emphasis on Animation.
The students participated in projects that were community based such as the Italian Embassy, Miracle Missions and CBZ partnered refuse-bin painting project which took place in Harare’s central business district; which was a step in beautifying the vicinities of the city by merging art with utility.
Beyond that, the students also created murals at Pomona, Fourth Street and the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, as an effort to bring colour to the city through the expression of various causes, notably environmental awareness.
The resources in theory and practice provided to the students by dedicated instructors, the skills development activities which were provided by international institutions and individual practitioners who facilitated workshops to promote understanding of technique; and community based excursions that would make an interactive experience available both to students and the public, make “Green Shoots” the momentous climax to the year for all the students exhibiting in the show.