Visual artists in the County have appealed to governors to construct art galleries to promote local artists and tourism.
The Chairman of Visual Artists in South Rift, Stephen Chirchir said art galleries contribute immensely to society by improving economies, and attendees are introduced to different perspectives and ways of thinking through the viewing of artwork.
Speaking during a press conference on Tuesday at their newly launched art coaching centre at the Nakuru National Library, Chirchir said the country was spending too much money in seminars and workshops to, inculcate national ethos and values, and yet art galleries, which are inexpensive, have a capacity of inspiring change faster than too much lecturing.
“Viewers of visual art could easily be stimulated and stirred to endorse a particular cause, change their negative attitudes and heal the depressed,” he said.
He said visual art since the time of cavemen has been known to arouse the spirit of enterprise, hard work, self-reliance, a sense of individual responsibility and the disposition to save and act with prudence in the utilization of economic resources.
The Visual Artist said in developed countries, artists were more valued because they perceive them as the genetic material or DNA of a nation, while educationists have proved beyond doubt that visual learning was the most effective.
He added that galleries have the capacity of doubling the number of tourists who visit the country since they attract art zealous and passionate admirers who are more than willing to spend their money to see, meet the artists and buy the artefact.
Chirchir said apart from visiting the galleries, such tourists, who in many cases, are well-off, stay in high end hotels and that boosts the local economy and in turn, creates more jobs.
He said the ongoing debate on Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) should give emphasis to visual art as the protector and projector of a people’s culture.
The Chairman added that despite the negligence of visual art by the successive governments, currently wananchi seem to have developed a positive philosophy towards it and they are buying in droves to hang in their houses.
“I think the negative attitude towards politicians, entrepreneurs, and the clergy has pushed wananchi to embrace art for comfort,” he stated.
Chirchir said the high demand has startled them to produce more inspiring pieces like the laughing children, who are bought on a daily basis and that has made them realize, that wananchi tend to appreciate artefacts, which express joy.
By Veronica Bosibori