Canada-based mouth painter on P200K grant windfall

IMG-20240612-WA0018
IMG-20240612-WA0018

FRANCISTOWN: A Motswana quadriplegic mouth painter based in Canada, Wilson Libita, has received the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) grant, which he says has transformed his artistic journey.

The gifted oral painter was awarded a $15, 000 (P205, 856.85) OAC grant in April 2023. The OAC is a Canadian government agency, which provides grants to Ontario-based individual artists and arts professionals, ad hoc groups, collectives and organisations. This grant supports a range of arts activities and disciplines. Speaking to Arts&Culture about the grant, Libita said art has always been his passion and a vital means of expression. He also said last year, he took a significant step in his career by applying for the "Skills and Career Development: Indigenous Arts Professionals and Arts Professionals of Colour" grant from the OAC. He further said the specific grant he applied for focuses on developing the skills and careers of indigenous artists and artists of colour, providing opportunities that might otherwise be inaccessible.

“The selection process for this grant is highly competitive. Applicants must submit detailed project proposals that include descriptions of their artistic practice, the goals of their proposed project and how the funds will be used,” he explained. Libita stated that the proposals are reviewed by a committee of experienced artists and arts professionals who evaluate them based on several criteria including artistic merit, potential impact on the artist's career and the feasibility of the project. “I was overjoyed to learn that my proposal was successful and I received the $15,000 CAD grant which has been transformative in my artistic journey in so many ways,” he added. Furthermore, he indicated that with the grant, he was able to purchase essential art supplies including high-quality brushes, canvases, and paints. "These materials have enabled me to explore new techniques and elevate the quality of my work, he added.

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