The organisers of Francistown Arts Meeting have given visual arts a limelight by hosting an exhibition from November 28 to 30, 2019.
The first two days will be an indoor exhibition that will be held at Civic Centre while the last day will be an outdoor exhibition by Kenneth Nkhwa International Interchange popularly known as Spaghetti junction. It will take three consecutive days.
In an interview with one of the event coordinators, Keoagile Bonang told Arts and Culture that the exhibition targets the visual and performing arts but due to budget constraints, this year they decided to only focus on visual artists.
That is painting, drawing, sculpture, photography and string art.
“We deliberately chose the visual arts looking at the fact that most of the time they are not given a chance to showcase their works like the performing artists that are given recognition on daily basis.
The only platform that gives the visual artists a chance to showcase their works is during the Presidential Competitions, then after that there is nothing,” he said.
However, he explained that their decision was not made because they had anything against performing artists. He said they intended to add the category in their next exhibition since they want to make the exhibition an annual event.
He added that the main objective of the exhibition was to give the visual artists that would be exhibitors a chance to scrutinise sell and create platform of interaction amongst themselves as exhibitors.
Bonang also said they would also mentor artists on the importance of treating their works with diligence in order to be recognised both locally and internationally not as only artist but also entrepreneurs.
He added that the exhibition was open to any visual artists saying that they had so far attracted teachers who are interested to partake at the event.
“We are planning to reserve two spaces for students so that they can also come and exhibit their works as we believe that will expose their works and also learn how they can make a living out of their works in future while acquiring more skills from the established artists.
This is our first exhibitors which we are already close to reaching the number looking at the positive response that we get from artists,” he said.
This exhibition is not only targeting the greater Francistown, it is in fact open to all the artists in the country. Bonang explained that they were so far pleased with the response that they got from local visual artists was amazing and they were ready for the event adding that they answered many Francistown artistes prayers by hosting the event.
He added that the Greater Francistown artists were going to benefit from the exhibition because it will put them in the limelight and give them recognition they deserve.
Mascom and Live Events through Doicore Marathon donated P76, 000 to the event.
Events Live is also said to have come on board to assist the coordinators with the exhibition.
Though Mascom and Event Live have come to their rescue, Bonang said they still have challenges to meet a budget that would make the event successful as anticipated.
He explained that the challenge they were facing in the area was that they did not have exhibition halls that were meant for arts exhibition, making preparing for that kind of event more expensive as they had to start by designing mounting boards which was expensive to design.
He explained that hall owners did not allow mounting on their walls.
He also said marketing was one expensive tool therefore making it hard for them to reach many artists with the available budget.
He however pointed that they used social media platforms to market the event. He called on the residents of Francistown and neighbouring areas to support the event.