The genesis of Ugandan art spans decades ago and needs no introduction to the international scene. The vast collection of Ugandan paintings, sculptures, screens and ideas says it all and its contribution to world art is right up there - probably with the very best in Africa.
It began much earlier than anyone can imagine much as a lot of what is captured is as old as the introduction of formal art education in Uganda. Art was formally introduced as a school subject under the British colonial rule.
And with out doubt, this formal Ugandan art education will always be associated with the pioneering efforts of Margaret Trowell; who together with her husband Trowell, arrived in Uganda in the mid 1930s and introduced art as a subject at the Makerere Government College of higher learning.
... At the time, Uganda was going through shifts that were all-encompassing and profound; changes in the understanding of religion, in the spheres of; economics, politics, education and social setup that were as a result of the colonial era.
The Trowells sort to restore interest and pride to Africans and in the survival of their cultural past - believing that for education and modern development to be meaningful to Uganda, it had to be delivered within the context of the cultural background. This they did through art. And in recognition of their efforts, the School of Fine Arts at Makerere University is named after Margaret.
Fred Mutebi's Artwork - social events in Uganda
Through the hardest times of Uganda history especially during the Amin era and the gorilla war (1981 - 1986), Ugandan art survived - in fact the school of fine art was one of those that remained open throughout, of course not with-holding the fact that many artists left the country in fear of their live and therefore art loosing out on that front.
From the modern Ugandan paintings of current artists like Fred Mutebi to older works from decades ago, many are available for touring at various museums and galleries around the country. You will be amazed at some of the collection from the medieval times - Pieces that define the ethnicity and cultural origin of Uganda.
Ugandan art spots evolutionary works through the different political and social events that will shape the viewer's understanding of Ugandan history. Some of the pieces, whose authors remain anonymous to date because they never signed their works, are breath-taking scenes that will blow you away.
A lot of artists (both local and international) that have contributed to Ugandan art have been inspired by the creativity, imagination and flair it has to offer.
Veroniccah's Artwork - when the Gods rage
Uganda's art is filled with massively talented artists delivering their messages to the world and many of them need no introduction to the international scene; displaying their works all over the world in famous galleries and museums.
One of the most popular and probably my favourite is Veroniccah Muwonge. She is illustrious for her contemporary expressionist art - And famous for using warm colours and a palette knife building up her compositions to articulate her ideas. Her works fill the need for some art you can relate too. You will find exbitions of her works by searching online.
Veroniccah's Artwork - the Village Master
Also see the Ugandan Masters; a collection of the finest of artists from Uganda. Their works are on display worldwide and their talent offers inspiration to anyone who views and loves art.
And as you search for the current art exhibitions in Uganda, make it a point to visit the galleries and meet the artists while on your Ugandan holiday and absorb the culture, imagination and new ideas presented.
Visiting Uganda for an art tour and meeting the artists can be an uplifting experience that will stick with your memories.
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