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Avlan Hosts Art Exhibition In Office Spaces

Staff Writer
Eric Pfunt with his art work PIC. MORERI SEJAKGOMO
In order to celebrate fine artists, a company that provides furnished offices and meeting spaces in Gaborone has opened an art exhibition called 'Art At Avlan' with the main purpose of showcasing and celebrating the country’s artists during these difficult COVID-19 times.

The exhibition opened this past Saturday and will run until February 13, 2021. In an interview with Showtime, the founder and CEO of Avlan Ana Admiraçáo JMLN revealed that they had not done their grand opening yet mainly because they were conscious about COVID-19. “Art is the foundation of our society and with it you can express a lot about what is happening around. We thought during COVID-19  artists have not been active and they are a very important aspect of our society. Through their paintings they can encourage people to sanitise and keep their masks on, for example. Artists  will really bring out that message the best way, “ she added.

Admiraçáo JMLN said Avlan provides furnished offices, meeting spaces, shared offices and virtual offices spaces. She said some of the services they provide are the Avlan cloud, Alvlan sky, mini and executive spaces.

 “Our spaces are air-conditioned with a high speed internet. Our core objective is to provide fully-furnished office space with an excellent service because the world of work needs excellent customer services,” she highlighted.

For his part, the director of Avlan, Niaz Johnson said art is a source of hope and inspiration no wonder they came up with this exhibition. “2020 was a difficult year. We thought what better way to welcome people to our new facility and services than having them come and appreciate the beauty that the artist can express,” he said.

Johnson also emphasised that by hosting the exhibition in their office spaces, they hoped this could give artists the support they need to market their artefacts. “There are so many emotions and sentiments that are being expressed through those paintings on the walls. This is an industry that has been highly affected so we can celebrate our artists in a safe and controlled environment”.

Johnson further said the exhibition celebrates not only the beauty of Botswana art but Avlan as well. He was quick to disclose that artists exhibit for free. “We want to give them a platform to market what they do. We put out a call on our Facebook page, and there was a great response”.

One of the artists who decided

to use the opportunity and exhibit his work at Avlan, Phenyo Saidoo said he got to know about the exhibition on social media and decided to send both his profile and samples of his works right away. “The setup is more corporate and not your usual gallery setup. The lighting and the walls however resemble a gallery. The spaces also bring out uniqueness and touch of the artworks in general,” he said. Saidoo admitted that it was difficult being an artist during this COVID-19  times because people were afraid to go out to attend exhibitions.

Another artist who took part in the exhibition, Eric Pfund said most of his work depicts the tender care of father.

“I have this one painting called setting the standard and it shows old couple kissing in public. This is something Batswana are not accustomed to.

I feel that people are not used public display of affection because they are scared of what the older people might think, so if the older generation had started that from the beginning then we’ll probably not have some of the problems that we have today like young children experimenting with sexuality,” he said. Pfund also said exhibiting at Avlan was different because it was an office spaces rather than an actual gallery which gave it a corporate flair. “It doesn’t have the same gallery lights. I have exhibited around the world so this is down to earth,” he said.

Painter Zlatko Puskas said some of his best work exhibited there is oil on canvas painting depicting the Chanoga River in Ngamiland. “I have never seen a river so beautiful in my life with crystal clear waters.

It is one of those areas in Botswana that is never spoken about, we always speak about the delta,” he revealed. As a fisherman, Puskas said he was there and did some photography and his intention is to showcase some parts of Botswana that never get mentioned.

He said artworks should not be in artists’ houses and should be up there all the time. Puskas said he enjoys being an artist and for him it is not all about the money.


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