Donations to Young Sculptors in Zimbabwe
When Guruve discovered a centre in Zimbabwe that had been established primarily to help struggling young artists, full of modern artworks of outstanding quality, it seemed the perfect place for us...
Guruve specialises in stone sculpture from Zimbabwe, mainly by young artists at the Chitungwiza Arts Centre. The Arts Centre is located in the heart of Chitungwiza - Zimbabwe's third largest city 30km south-west of the capital, Harare. Many of Zimbabwe's world-famous sculptors grew up and established themselves as artists while resident in Chitungwiza.
The Centre gives us the opportunity to purchase unique and innovative pieces of modern art directly from the artists, so they and their families get the full benefit of their efforts.
The Arts Centre project is an initiative between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Zimbabwe Ministry of Education and Culture and the National Arts Council. It aims to provide a stable place where young aspiring artists can work. These organisations provided the land and the initial raw materials, but the member artists now control policy and finances. It is a great example of African artists working together and achieving so much more than they could as individuals.
When we first visited the Centre in March 2000, it consisted merely of a field bounded by a fence within which each of the forty artists had a space to work and display their sculpture. Income from the purchase of our first shipment made the difference between success and failure for the Centre. Subsequent trips have raised enough money to fund the installation of electricity supply, and construction of an office and two impressive pole and thatch shelters.
On each of our visits to the artists at the Centre, we have given back in kind as well as bringing much-needed income. Our donations include:
Plus, we designed and built a steel frame for lifting large raw stones and for loading crates into trucks or containers. The Centre now has the facility to pack and deliver sculpture to their customers and the artists can work on sculptures over a metre high.
Finally, after each session of buying, we celebrate with a party - with food and drink, music and dancing - to congratulate everybody on another successful visit.
We pride ourselves on doing business the way it should be done - with mutual respect and friendship. We have made many friends in Chitungwiza and are now fulfilling our promise to the artists to promote them and their work internationally.
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