Sponsored Workshop for Schoolchildren in Bulawayo

A donation made to a group of artists can go a very long way, as we dicovered when we sponsored a workshop for young artists in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe…

One of most important founding principles for Guruve is to give back to the artists we promote – not only in the form of income from sales but also through donations and gifts, either of money or in kind. In Bulawayo we did this through the Visual Artists’ Association of Bulawayo (VAAB) as most local artists are members of this body, so we could reach the most people.

Our donation was a substantial proportion of their annual budget, and they used the funds to run a project which until then had just been a dream – to hold a two-day workshop in the nearby National Park for promising youngsters. It gave the children the unique opportunity to concentrate solely on art for two days, to learn new techniques, to interact with more senior artists – and possibly to consider art as a potential future career.

The first workshop was a major success and VAAB were inundated with applications – so much so that Guruve happily sponsored a bigger and better event in April 2003.

Here are some excerpts from an email received from the Visual Artists’ Association of Bulawayo after the Second Young Artists’ Workshop (sponsored by Guruve) in April 2003:

“We held the Second Young Artists Workshop at Maleme Dam in Matopos National Park on 14 -16 April 2003. There were 25 students and five senior VAAB members. Facilitators covered stone and ceramic sculpture, painting, textiles and printmaking…

…On arrival, we outlined the objectives of the workshop. Just before lunch the facilitators introduced the theory of their projects – after lunch the camp was quiet as everyone was busy at work till 4pm when we had refreshments and sports…

…It was rise and shine in the beautiful Maleme Dam on day two with baboons and warthogs joining us for breakfast. We evaluated day one verbally and then it was back to the groups and continuation of the projects, a break for lunch then we had a life-drawing class for an hour…

…After supper, the campfire discussions [covered] many topics – this went on till the very early hours of Wednesday, a very rich and powerful discussion it was…”

art workshop at Matopos

Artists and schoolchildren at Matopos near Bulawayo, revelling in an art workshop sponsored by Guruve

Issues Affecting The Workshop
“…Generally the deteriorating economic situation, and the high cost of fuel and food strained the organisation of the workshop. In content, basically everything was almost perfect. The facilitators were rich in skill. Maybe the materials were not enough, but everyone had something to do…

…we learnt from experience and I can tell you we’re already working for the 3rd Young Artists as all of Zimbabwe is now aware of it.

In conclusion, on behalf of the committee and the participants, I would like to thank you Guruve for the continued support of the workshop. May you convince others to do the same.

Siyabonga (Thank you)”

Clifford Zulu
CHAIRMAN, Visual Artists’ Association of Bulawayo
May 2003

Related links:

Read the full email

Read about the 2002 workshop

The Guruve story – who’s behind the name and why do we do this?

Artists in Bulawayo – art history of the region

Guruve’s donations made directly to artists or to UK/African charities

Arts Centre Gallery donation – Guruve funds the rebuild in 2015