Sisonke/ Tavatose, 2017 Schools Visual Art Exhibition

May 2017

The National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo (NGZ) in partnership with the Environmental Management Agency is hosting another edition of the Sisonke/Tavatose 2017 Schools Visual Art Exhibition. The National Art competition will be held in June at the National Gallery in Harare while the Regional Exhibition opening will be held on the 20th of May at the Bulawayo gallery. The 2017 exhibition is running under the theme under the theme “Celebration Time!” — with the environment in mind.

This year NGZ turns 60 years in 2017, we would like our annual schools art competition to encourage young people to celebrate various elements in life”, Sisonke means “we are together”, it is an exhibition based on unity and brings pupils of different backgrounds/cultures together to express themselves through art using what they find in their environment. The materials used by the students to come up with this exhibition is broad as they picked whatever we perceive as waste/ garbage and came out with their art pieces. Some focused on the known visual art materials in coming up with their works such as paintings on paper or canvas thereby expressing different themes that were in the competition brochure which was distributed in most schools in the Southern region. The interesting thing about this exhibition is that it didn’t limit pupils to only visual arts but some were able to express the theme celebration using other art genres such as drama , poetry so that in our celebration accommodates other students who don’t have visual art background.
This year’s exhibition aims to promote creative talent from a young age and celebrate our artistic heritage as well as the fact that there has been a greater motivation for art to be introduced and recognised as an imperative subject in schools. In addition, the exhibition encourages visual literacy amongst children whilst focusing on enjoyment and building confidence in their artistic and creative expression. This exhibition comes at a time when the Government of Zimbabwe has introduced a new education curriculum which supports Arts Education from a very early age. The new junior school visual and performance arts curriculum covers theoretical and practical activities in the areas of sculpting, graphic design, painting, photography, dance, theatre, music, poetry, storytelling and puppetry.
The Diamond Jubilee celebration at the National Gallery coincides with the 10th Anniversary celebration at the Environmental Management Agency (EMA). This presents a perfect opportunity to celebrate our artistic heritage, and the environment that shapes it. The Partnership between the NGZ and the EMA also brings forth a new dimension in the schools visual arts exhibition funding matrix, enabling many school children from across Zimbabwe’s ten provinces to lend their voices to the discourse of sustainable society through visual narratives while improving their artistic skills.

Cliford Zulu Curator

For more information please contact the Conservation/ Education Officer J Chinamasa on 0970721, Email: follow us on or follow us on Twitter @bulawayogallery