Over the years, art in tertiary institutions has often been confined to classrooms and hardly will you come across initiatives that seek to create exposure and expose the students’ skill out there.
However, one student community, Ibuka, from the School of Arts and Design, University of Nairobi is out to bury this trend. Judging from its activities, largely art exhibitions, and workshops, it has created a platform where students and budding artistes from universities can showcase their work, network and glean wisdom from invited professionals.
Since its inception back in 2012, Ibuka Community provide a platform to students to come out of their comfort zones to showcase their creative potential.
The School hosted the 4th Ibuka on 13th – 15th, dubbed ‘Life in Color’. In line with what the theme expressed, the atmosphere within the exhibition area radiated pomp and glamour, a subtle color and vibe that only artistic flair could muster.
The exhibition featured a wide range of artwork right from interior, product, fashion, graphics, fine art, illustration and photography. Exhibition boards stood in ways that gave way to a number of demarcated stands, with each stand hosting a specific art genre.
Clavers Odhiambo’s painting titled ‘Through the Years’ and his other that showed the Literature Nobel laureate and activist Prof Wole Soyinka imbued perfection and gave a glimpse into how talented the Ibuka artistes are.
Elsardt Kigen, a 2011 EALP (Equity African Leaders Program) scholar and the 2012 winner of the prestigious “Experience Kenyan heritage through Art” national art competition proved his greatness with drawings and paintings that told a story, tugged at people’s heartstrings and had a deep sense of creativity in them.
Lydia Nyabera’s interior design section was apt with fine interior architecture showcases, interior’s final model, and whatnot. The list can go on and on, but suffice it to say, all the artistic work showcased and the artists behind them were really great.
Come Friday 15th the event came to a close with performance, fashion and awards crowning the night. The evening was made lively by good music from several performances that featured emerging performance artistes such as Bensoul, Kito the Band, Eli, Halisi the Band, The Journey band and Janade Noni. Runway modeling got down as well with fashion designers flashing their gallant designs. Later, the awarding was done and so it came to a close.
So you thought that all this can only be done in established gallery joints, established fashion houses and not a domain for students? Think again. Ibuka is out to redefine art in Kenya. Watch this space.