Our programs are tailored for people with a passion for the creative arts. Below you'll find details information on each of the courses we offer. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch
We would aim for you to help run a workshop for one or two hours a day for three or four days of the week. You will run these workshops with a group of anything from 6 up to 15 children or young people. We feel that for the art project smaller groups are necessary in order for them to really absorb the necessary skills and ideas. We currently have a very basic equipment but are working on acquiring various resources through sponsorship and funding. The workshops you lead though will be based in a classroom in a school or in a room in an orphanage. Naturally, your duration in Kenya will effect the level of detail you can set in your workshops. This said, you may be working with a group of young people that have already had introductory workshops in particular art forms such as print art so it may be a chance for you to initiate projects that they can carry out on their own with your guidance.We would be really keen to see specifically what you could develop with your own particular skills set such as textiles and prints for example. You will have plenty of opportunity to source ideas and local methods and even meet local artists.
A typical day on the art project
- 8:00 - 9:00 Breakfast
- 9:00 - 10:00 Planning and preperation of days activities
- 10:00 Pick up and drop off at site
- 10:30 - 12:00 Deliver workshops to kids
- 12:00 - 15:00 Lunch and time off (maybe a swim?)
- 15:00 - 16:00 Explore the local area and culture or come and help volunteer on some after school sport
- 16:15 Transport pick up to house
Information on Kenyan Art
Many Kenyan traditional societies placed great significance on decoration of both functional and ritual objects, and the body. In tribes such as the Kuria and the Samburu, this was raised to the form of high art. The Samburu place great significance on physical beauty and adornment, especially among warriors, who take great care with their physical appearance, using hair styling and ochre body painting to create an impression of great delicacy. It was this trait that earned them their name Samburu - Butterflies, given to them by other tribes. Many Northern nomadic tribes such as the Boran, Oromo and Gabbra extensively decorate functional items, including water gourds, stools and neck pillows. The Turkana people, who live in one of Kenya's harshest environments, still afford great care and attention to decoration of the body and objects such as ostrich egg water holders, wrist knives and clubs. For the Maasai, the use of decorative beading is extremely significant, and jewellery is used to emphasize social status and to signify stages of initiation and passage.
Modern forms of art came to Kenya progressively. The art of carving was practiced throughout Kenya to produce both functional and decorative items. The Kamba people are considered the best Kenyan carvers, and have long been known as skilled woodworkers. Carving on the coast was centred on the island of Lamu, where the local Bajun tribe is believed to have influenced Arab craftsmen to create a unique hybrid of styles. The Kisii of Western Kenya are also well known for their carving in stone, using a locally quarried soapstone. They use a locally quarried soapstone to produce a range of carvings. The most popular items are small animals, chess pieces based on traditional African designs and more functional items such as egg cups, soap dishes, coasters and ash trays. The tourist trade has certainly had great influence over Kenyan carving, but many traditional designs have survived, and often new and interesting carving styles.
Graphical art in Kenya has a much less defined history. There are certain traditions in design and representation derived from rock art patterns, but also considerable influence from the coast. Textile design and decorative art throughout the coast created strong Swahili designs from Middle Eastern roots. Painting and drawing in the formal European sense was introduced by colonialism. Kenyan painting has gradually developed incorporating traditional designs with modern technique. One of Kenya's best known painters, who has achieved international fame and recognition, is Joel Oswago. Joel is from Western Kenya, and his brilliant paint work depicts scenes of Luo life both traditional and modern. At the National Museum an independent trust, called the Kuona Trust, has been established to foster and encourage Kenyan artists. The Trust has set up an artists residence by the shores of Lake Naivasha, where a space and accommodation for artists is available. This program is bearing great fruit, and the centre located directly beside the Museum, is open to the public. There are displays of modern art here in all media. There are several other private galleries in and around Nairobi
If you're interested in this project, please get in touch and we'll arrange a meeting to tell you more about it. Click here to contact us