Become Art Minded; Afriart launches Art Education Programme

Art does not solve problems, but makes us aware of their existence,” sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz has once said. Arts education, on the other hand, does solve problems.

Society needs people with skills to think creatively, innovate and to become critical thinkers and learners ready to solve everyday challenges. Years of research show that Art Education is closely linked to almost everything that we say we want for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity.

Children’s art workshop held at Afriart Gallery

It is this understanding that has inspired Afriart Gallery to add an Art Education department to their existing scope of work. The programme is coordinated by Jantien Zuurbier who has been closely involved with the Ugandan art scene since 2009. She was the founder of a creative co-working space called @The HUB which became an important home for artists and art appreciators because of its regular art events and art publications, such as ART256 and Startjournal.

Bridging the gap

Critical appreciation of Ugandan Contemporary art and its place in the local and global context is an important aspect of encouraging growth of the art scene. The more people appreciate and understand the art of different eras, movements, styles and techniques, the better they can develop, evaluate and improve their own relationship to art.

Art Education and art appreciation is a way to mediate and bridging the gaps between people, cultures and art.

Some of the classes that will be developed include: art retreats, team building workshops, children art workshops at schools and during holidays, art therapy classes at prisons and hospitals, master classes for adults, guided art tours, art appreciation classes and much more.

Henry Mzili Mujunga showing a printmaking technique (image : Start journal
Henry Mzili Mujunga showing a printmaking technique (image : Start journal

An opportunity for artists

It is believed that the Art Education Programme will also benefit artist in several ways, e.g. the AEP:

  • will offer artists with a way to earn extra income that fits within their line of work;
  • provides a way to increase artists effectiveness at creating and promoting their art;
  • helps them to to gain teaching experience and improve your overall ability to talk about their art in public. Over time, this can lead to speaking engagements or appearances as guest or resident artist at schools, colleges, community centres, and teaching or workshop opportunities in other towns/countries;
  • The artist will be part of a network of artists that are willing to share, learn and improve their art through engagement with others;
  • provide an opportunity to create exchange, collaboration with international institutions, art educators and art education programmes.

Call for art tutors

Artist and art educators who are interested to participate as an Art Tutor in the programme, are request to register and answer a few questions by following this link to the online Call For Tutors survey. This will give the programme coordinator an idea about artists availability, skills and expertise with art teaching. Experience is not a requirement. Also art therapist and occupational therapist are encouraged to apply.

The expected output of the programme are various cycles of creative & innovative art classes and workshops conducted by professional artists and art educators using a tailored curriculum.

For more information contact the AEP coordinator Jantien at