Weekly Newspaper

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issn 0856 - 9135
Issue No. 0863
June 20 - 26, 2015



Masai Camp Art Fair, huge success

By Carol Mothupi

Following a postponement in May due to rainy weather, the Masai Camp Art Fair finally kicked off on Sunday, 7th June 2015. The fair featured a number of visual artists in sculpture, painting, graffiti, fashion design, crafts and illustration. Children’s development organizations were present as well as healers and horticultural artists. The touted 6-hour performing arts line up featured a diversity of local and regional artists in traditional African music and dance, reggae, hip-hop, jazzy soul, Western and contemporary dance, poetry, and even a choreo-poem. The Arusha Poetry Club’s George Kyomushula and Ibuka Dance Foundation’s Stella Situma performed the choreopoem, a mixture of choreography and poetry:This particular performance was born of the Art Fair Performing Arts Auditions, where the two artists discovered each other’s craft and saw an opportunity to collaborate. This is perhaps the first positing of the art fair as not only a space for the community to discover artists, but for artists to discover one another as well.

“I loved that [the] duo of two different artists met at one channel of art to express what they feel” said George Kyomushula, the poet. “Dance is a spiritual language and I felt inspired and honored to be part of the beginning of a wonderful artistic journey in Arusha” Stella, Ibuka dancer, added.

The art fair will be held periodically, and evolve along with other ambitious
projects centered on art, community and wellbeing.

The art fair is also about extending the market for the artists beyond the day of exhibition, to create new clientele and tap into new markets for distribution for the artists. The art fair has occured at a critical point where Masai Camp is gradually transforming into an art “village” with infrastructure that will enable artists to exhibit and train, and the community to walk in any day and relax, and be immersed in the artistic atmosphere.  It is a project solely dependent on the effort of all art stakeholders in Arusha, who can put in the effort and commitment to see it off the ground. As for the community, they have demonstrated their interest in this venture through the sheer numbers and the diversity of backgrounds and interests represented in this inaugural fair.

The art fair will be held periodically, and evolve along with other ambitious projects centred on art, community and well being, planned for Masai Camp. The timing couldn’t be better - Arusha is ripe and ready for growth in many industries, including in its arts, culture and creative economy.Consequently its upcoming artists and those in the region have a challenge to grow and professionalize just as rapidly. “This is the minimum of respect of the public, which expects more than false amateur repetition” adds Michel Irlinger, a multifaceted artist based in Arusha.

We hope that the Masai Camp Art Fair comes back even bigger and better in the next instalment. The organizers state that there will be a Facebook page with regular updates about the fair and other art projects, as well as advertisement in popular Arusha platforms about upcoming dates.



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