POOR artistic products submitted at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe Mutare offices by visual artists has contributed significantly to the decline of foreign support, laments NGZ provincial director, Elizabeth Muusha.
Speaking at the Manicaland Show of Arts held recently at the gallery provincial offices, Muusha said lack of funding and the withdrawal of some European embassies had hampered the smooth flow of day-to-day running at the gallery as well as some annual arts event.
“Most visual artists have been submitting sub-standard products for exhibition at the gallery and across borders. Our visual artists’ participants have dropped by 50 percent this year and only four districts, which are Nyanga, Mutare, Makoni and Chimanimani have been active.
“We don’t blame the artists, it is simply because they are lacking adequate support and financial backup to nurture their talents and improve on their products,” she said.
Some of the artifacts at the gallery depict visual artists’ emotional expressions on their plight in the communities they live in.
This year’s expo which was held under the theme: “The workers Plight — Ramangwana Remushandi” saw visual artists from several districts in Manicaland showcasing their products.
“The gallery has been operating under a stringent budget. We have not been fairing well because of lack of funding. We used to get donations and support from our perennial partners such as Netherlands Embassy, but they have since withdrawn their support.
“This year’s expo had no foreign funding, but I would like to thank our local partners such as Coca-cola, Matanuska, Mutare Garments, Mutare Museums, City of Mutare, Zimbabwe Open University, OK Mart, Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) and Diamond FM among others for making the event a success,” added Muusha.