Sculptors demand land for their works

Kundai Marunya Arts Correspondent
Delays by the Harare City Council to allocate land to Avac Arts, a grouping of artists, has stalled efforts to build a gallery along the airport road. Avac Arts director Terrence Musiyiwa told Herald Arts that delays had hampered their efforts to develop and expand their works, including the marketing of their works.

“Being largely a virtual gallery we have been facing space constraints to expand our works. We need land to build a big gallery for our artists,” he said. “Right now most of our artistes either work from their homes or from my backyard in Chitungwiza.”

Avac Arts works with over 15 artistes who are supplied with material and tools operating at Musiyiwa’s house though there are 300 other sculptors working from different areas. The organization which markets stone sculpture online applied for land to build a gallery in 2016. The council has not allocated them land up to now.

Some of the big names working with the gallery include veteran sculptors Kennedy Musekiwa and first generation sculptor Sylvester Mubayi. “As an artiste, working from one’s backyard is usually not good for our neighbours. They sometimes complain of noise from our power tools. There is also a lot of dust that irritates them too. We need the land to work and expand our works without affecting other people,” Musekiwa said.

Avac Art, has been very instrumental in the development of sculpture in the country.

“Stone sculpture was at one time, one of the biggest art forms that earned the country foreign currency and I believe with the right assistance it still can be. We really need the Ministry of Youth Sports Art and Culture to step-in and assist us to get the land. We can revive this sector that could benefit a lot of people,” Musiyiwa said.

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