Partner National Gallery of Zimbabwe, corporates urged Deputy Minister of Sports, Recreation Arts and Culture Emily Jesaya (right) hands over a certificate of ArtSpiration: Sign of the Times winner Tafadzwa Tom while National Gallery of Zimbabwe board member and Zimpapers CEO Pikirayi Deketeke and Morgan and Co Managing director Davide Muchengi look on

Arts Reporter

In a bid to continue supporting and promoting the youths in visual art, Deputy Minister of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, Emily Jesaya, has challenged some organisations and companies to partner with the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ).

Deputy Minister Jesaya made the remarks during the official opening and prize-giving ceremony of “Morgan & Co. ArtSpiration: Signs of the Times” held at NGZ recently, which saw local visual artists rewarded for their excellence in their themed pieces.

“It is with great pleasure to officiate at the celebration of young artists, as the show focused on the specific medium of painting among individuals below the age of 42 years,” she said.

“Signs of the Times is the fourth edition of this now relevant show that is becoming part of the calendar here at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, as it cements the importance of promoting and purveying art by the youth of the Republic.”

Deputy Minister Jesaya said the exhibition was crucial in the spotlighting of talent and commended the gallery’s partnership with Morgan & Co.

“The partnership between the Brokers and the Museum is perfect, as art and the stock markets operate at a similar wavelength; they both are based on dedication, patience and on either end of the spectrum; risk,” he said.

“As such, the investment factor becomes a keystone in how the concept of the exhibition functions. I encourage buyers and collectors to purchase works from this show, to inspire the artists to continue creating, while you collect for yourself, or your corporation, as the artists’ careers grow exponentially.”

Speaking at the same occasion, NGZ board member and Zimpapers chief executive Mr Pikirayi Deketeke said arts are fundamental to humanity.

“Morgan and Co have been supporting the Young Artist Award at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe since 2018 and we are immensely grateful that they continue supporting young creatives’ nurturing,” he said.

“It is vital to support young people to ensure the continuance of creativity. The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us — fostering creativity, empathy, and beauty.”

Mr Deketeke said the arts also strengthen communities socially, educationally and economically, benefits that persist even during a pandemic devastating to the arts.

“This year, ArtSpiration: Signs of the Times focused on different issues plaguing the world; some of the work conveys the Climate Crisis and ever-altering weather patterns,” he said.

Mr Deketeke was impressed with the displayed artworks and encouraged the aspiring visual artists to continue working hard.

“The treatment of central themes in this body of work is of particular interest; though the show is dated to 2022, some trends and fads are conveyed, which, when considered, have a diarist and journalistic slant,” he said.

“This is the power of young people and young artists, in this case. They can fully define the now and caption the world around them.

“The issue of Mental Health is interrogated in this body of work, as at the end of the previous pandemic, there was a shift in how we live, and a new normal emerged. The stress and pressure of that time are present in this work, as the artists were trying to find their footing in the post-Covid world.

“There are new names in this exhibition and I encourage them to do as those who are returning artists, to continue working hard.”

The competition, which aimed at nurturing young talent and encouraging creativity, saw Tafadzwa Tom’s painting titled “Endurance” scooping first prize, while in second position was Hermit Muyambo’s “Mother Board.”

Takudzwa Guzha’s “Chava Chigondora” was placed third.

The event saw several artists exhibiting, including Peter Chihwanda, Precious Chigama, Blessing Chikanyanga, Calton Chimutuwah, Tinotenda Mutare Pritchard Chirume and Takudzwa Guzha.

The Exhibition Call was made in February of 2022, with the expectation of opening in June of the same year.

Over a 100 submissions were received for the show Signs of the Times was the fourth edition of what has become part of the calendar at the NGZ, as it cements the importance of promoting and purveying art by the youth.

The first edition of the competition, “Let the Lion in You Roar”, was organised in 2018 before the second edition; “Smiling Through Adversity” took place in 2019.

The third instalment ran under the theme “Masked” and took place in 2021.

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