#ThisIsMyKenya! Safaricom picks 36 Kenyan artists for 2019 Calendar Project

‘Shoeshine Mtaani’ – the painting is about the morning rush hour, the shoe shiner is busy and he is also having a conversation with other customers waiting in line, one holding a newspaper and another listening keenly. The exchange can be about anything from morning greetings to the day’s news.

Safaricom aims to celebrate the country through the eyes of gifted painters, artists and 2D illustrators.

“For too long Kenyan art has been whispered about. We believe now is the time for its magnificence to echo far and wide! There is talent to be discovered, there are treasures to be unearthed, and there are stories to be told,” says Safaricom.

“Through this calendar we have a chance to celebrate our country through the eyes of gifted Kenyan artists. A chance to explore our beauty, wildlife, love, aspirations, hope, laughter and more! We believe that if we truly come together around Kenyan art, invariably, great things will happen! Twaweza.”

‘Water Rationing’ – Many African cuntries are affected by either drought or floods. Whenever the former strikes, urban area residents bear the brunt of water rationing. Nairobi was hit by water shortage last year due to low levels in the Ndakaini Dam. Hand carts were used to ferry water in various places across the city. This is what inspired the artist to create a composition relation to the manace.

The #ThisIsMyKenya calendar project presents artists with the opportunity to showcase their talent over a wide range of media including production of the Safaricom 2019 Calendar which is the major highlight of the project.The selected 36 shall be available to promote the project and Safaricom will use their names, reputation and images in the calendar production and publication.

Danda Jaroljmek, the founder of Circle Art Gallery, while speaking to The Standard noted that there is potential in Kenya’s art, judging from the stories of paintings being auctioned for millions of shillings around the world.She noted that Kenya has a very large number of artist concentration in Nairobi who are full time practitioners.“We have a very large group of artists here in Nairobi who are full-time practicing artists. They manage to survive on the making of art,” she says.

‘Inside Out’ – A charcoal and pastels drawing on brown paper showing a motorbike rider on the road with four passengers on board. This is to create awareness to motorists on the need to abide by the traffic rules. It was inspired by the artist’s surroundings.

“Smaller works that are on paper or limited edition prints could cost anywhere from Sh15,000 to Sh80,000. For a good painting, you will be charged Sh80,000 to Sh300,000. For the senior artists, successful artists who can command an international market and some of the modern master who are deceased, prices go up to Sh1.8million.”

Throughout this process, Safaricom says it is humbled to see Kenyan art reach such great heights of creativity.

“As we come to a close, we would like to wish the successful artists a hearty congratulations for making it to our 2019 #ThisIsMyKenya calendar!”

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