Art Exhibition opens at JCC

Doors opened at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre on Thursday evening for the second edition of the Malawi Lero Art Exhibition.

The expansive JCC gallery was beautifully dressed with breathtaking and meticulously created paintings which captured a variety of the country’s stories in image form. The paintings told stories about Malawi’s escarpments, the smiles of its people, craft and environment.

Artwork by William Chikomo

Visual Arts of Malawi vice-president Gilbert Mpakule thanked JCC for providing space for the artists to showcase since Malawi has few galleries where such exhibitions can be mounted.

He said their movement has also considered the inclusion of up-and-coming artists as they attempt to take them through the importance of telling stories through images and also preservation of the country’s culture.

“We have made our best efforts to capture a variety of facets and present them in the most honest manner possible. It is now up to the people to interpret and make judgement on their own. What we have done is a portrayal of the visual aspect of it,” he said.

He appealed to organisations and individuals who have interest in visual arts to come forward to help them with a platform where they can express themselves.

JCC deputy director Constance Thyangathyanga said one of their primary goals remains promotion of arts and giving a platform to all those who possess the required potential.

She said: “We are many things, but we have a vision of a world which can sustain the arts and provide a platform for opportunities in arts and culture. Exhibitions such as these are great for the artists.”

Thyangathyanga said above everything else, opportunities like these provide a creative challenge to the artists for them to exercise their skills.

The art exhibition preceded the usual sounds of Malawi acoustic night which is held at the place every Thursday evening. Up-and-coming acoustic artist Alex Chapinda was the toast of the night with a catchy performance on his guitar. He performed his songs such as Sitima and Pa UkwatiWanga.

The Malawi Lero project began in 2017 when it held its first exhibition at the same venue. This year, the exhibition features works from 16 craftsmen. It has names such as William Chikomo, Kondwani Hara, Charles Levison, and Andrew Missi, among others.

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