Sponsored workshop 2002 email
The following email was received from the Visual Artists' Association in Bulawayo after their first workshop for young artists, sponsored by Guruve. It was a major success and all parties are hoping it will become an annual event
From: Visual Artists Association of Bulawayo
Hi Tim and Emma
The workshop happened at Maleme Dam on the 1st to 2nd June 2002 at Matopos National Park. It was such a well attended event that we had to leave out other people, because we had limited funds and only the young artists could go. We had planned for 25 people for the workshop but we had an overwhelming response of 40 artists from all corners of the country and even now as I write people are still enquiring about the next event. So we had to squeeze the number to 30 and reduce the days to 2 so that we had adequate materials.
The workshop had slight natural problems that we had not anticipated - rain in the first hours of the morning and it was the beginning of winter in Zimbabwe, so we had to start a bit late. We were forced to limit the workshop to painting because of the high cost of art materials for all mediums, but people were asked to bring in their own materials of preference although we had bought basic materials.
Matopos was a place of inspiration and self realisation: a time to mingle as artists out of the city life; a time to share experiences and have that artistic chat, but of course time too to forget all the national problems and have a bit of fun. An exited group of people as this is the first time for VAAB and Bulawayo that an event of this magnitude has been organised. It has been a well-accepted initiative by VAAB and of course GURUVE LIMITED, we salute you - all is thumbs up to you guys and may the spirit continue.
Basically the workshop began with individuals scattered all over the park working on day one with a tea, lunch and supper breaks. In the evening we spoke about the problems facing artists in the country, the difference between Zimbabwean art and Europe, marketing strategies in the wake of non-tourism (the major buyers of art), and introductions of participants and the workshop objectives.
Day two began with the final touches to the artists' works and after the morning tea we began a critic session till 3pm. Then we mapped the way forward, with participants calling on this to be an annual event, as you will see on the evaluation forms. The welcome message from you, the sponsors, was read as we formalised and evaluated the workshop. Unfortunately, the workshop did not get enough publicity (it was featured in just one newspaper), because there was another political function taking place in the city, or maybe the journalists were scared of the chilly weather!
Some people have pledged to sponsor the September 2002 planned exhibition of works produced during the workshop. Alliance Française de Bulawayo has sponsored us with canvas enough for 30 people, each getting 2 1 metre by 1 metre canvases and pledges to pay the National Gallery, provide prizes etc.
Thank you so much, we wouldn't have dreamt of this if it wasn't for you.