Since 1975, Gallery Delta has maintained an important space in the arena of visual arts in the country.
It has hosted several exhibitions and given exposure to some of Zimbabwe’s renowned artists.
Paintings, drawings, sculptures and multi-dimensional works have been on showcase at several exhibitions that have been held at the prestigious gallery.
Despite the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic that has crippled many arts activities, Gallery Delta has maintained its presence on the artistic realm through online interactions.
Currently, the gallery is celebrating its 45th anniversary through an exhibition that features works by some of the great art creators who have used Gallery Delta to express their creative prowess.
The online exhibition features paintings, graphics, ceramics and sculptures.
It features the works of Arthur Azevedo, Virginia Chihota, Calvin Chimutuwah, Edsor Colaco, Ruth Dewhurst, Franklyn Dzingai, Lindsay Ford, Junior Fungai, Tapfuma Gutsa, Tafadzwa Gwetai, James Jali, Tapiwa Kamangwana and Lovemore Kambudzi
Also on showcase are amazing works by Helen Lieros, Lillian Magodi, Shepherd Mahufe, Tafadzwa Marekera, Nicky Maringa, Nyasha Marovatsanga, Blessing Matongera, Luis Meque,Webster Mubairenyi, Munyaradzi Mugorosa and Clive Mukucha.
The list is all-embracing and talented stars like Victor Nyakauru, Kate Raath, Greg Shaw, Cosmas Shiridzinomwa, Tawanda Takura, Evans Tinashe, Albert Wachi, Marjorie Wallace, Ishmael Wilfred, Richard Witikani, Tatenda Zangira and Johnson Zuze will also have their works on the virtual display.
It will be a celebration of Gallery Delta’s many years of arts interactions.
Gallery Delta’s formative years were at the then Strachan’s building in Manica Road (now Robert Mugabe Road) from 1975, where under the patronage of Derek Huggins and Helen Lieros, the gallery promoted contemporary paintings, graphics, textiles and ceramics whilst most of the contemporary art scene concentrated on Shona sculpture.
The gallery also served as an alternative venue for changing art exhibitions, multiracial theatre and jazz performances during the tense environment prior to Independence in 1980.
According to a statement from the gallery, it was a place that witnessed transformation as time evolved and many shared the exhibition of great works.
“The birth of African contemporary painting was very slow, as there were few facilities for serious art study and most African artists were stone sculptors, or wood carvers,” reads part of the statement.
“Slowly, however, the established artists such as Marshall Baron, Robert Paul, Arthur Azevedo, Helen Lieros, Henry Thompson, Thakor Patel, Stephen Williams, Rashid Jogee, Simon Back, Berry Bickle, Richard Jack, Gerry Dixon and others began to be joined by a new generation of African artists at the end of the 1980’s with the encouragement of Christopher Till, the then director of the National Gallery, the BAT workshop and Gallery Delta.
“They included Luis Meque, George Churu and Richard Witikani, in the 1990’s they were joined by Shepherd Mahufe, Hilary Kashiri, Fasoni Sibanda, Ishmael Wilfred, James Jali, Hilary Kashiri and Lovemore Kambudzi, who emerged through the annual ‘Young Artists’ and group exhibitions”
In 1991, Colette Wiles offered the old, dilapidated, and in part derelict house at 110 Livingstone Avenue, which had been the home of her father, the painter Robert Paul, for nearly forty years until his death in 1980, as the new venue for the Gallery Delta.
The house was built in 1894 and lays claim to being one of the oldest surviving buildings in Harare.
Its conservation involved a two-year project, from 1991 to late 1993, to repair and restore it to its original appearance, and to build an adjoining amphitheatre, all of which was undertaken and completed by Gallery Delta with the help of Peter Jackson architect, and many loyal friends and supporters.
In the 1990s the Gallery was hosting many exhibitions and there were many painters emerging which attracted local and foreign collectors and clients.
Through 2000 until today, the gallery continues to promote art through changing exhibitions and to help aspiring artists as far as it is able to do so and to hold music, theatre, and literary events in the amphitheatre.
The gallery has always had a reputation for presenting the best of Zimbabwe’s contemporary painting, so the content is always appealing; the staff is welcoming and the atmosphere within this historic old house that has been so well restored makes for an enjoyable and uplifting experience.