The art on display suggests a multiplicity of innovative process with traditional and contemporary techniques of art making
Kampala, Uganda | DOMINIC MUWANGUZI | There was always going to be room for another art gallery on the Uganda Contemporary art scene. This is because of the many emerging artists who compete for the very little space to exhibit their art. To fill the void, Masaka gallery, located in Masaka City has opened its doors to provide an alternative art space for artists to showcase their art which Incidentally does not find itself in major art galleries locally and regionally. With its spacious environment, the gallery will easily provide room for multidisciplinary and experimental arts howcases. This is a valuable quality that will not limit the creative processes of the artist’s but also offer a diversity of art to the audience from time to time.Besides the idea to create an alternative a venue to exhibit art, the space is strongly intent to not compromise on quality within the context of relevance, originality and innovation. This approach will probably give it an edge over other alternative art spaces which often times struggle to create a balance between what can easily be sold and original, innovative art.
This delicate balance of the two can only be realized by aligning the objectives of the gallery with the long-term vision. The long-term vision is the ambitious growth of the artistic career of individual artists to foster a competitive art scene and market. This aforementioned vision is not incidentally lacking at the gallery. Founded by the internationally famed “artist with a social-conscious” Collin Sekajugo; whose extensive and impressive repertoire includes founding Ivuka Arts Center Rwanda and Ndegeya Community of the Arts; an interactive and socially engaging arts village; the gallery is no doubt already steeped for success. Not solely relying on the unrivaled background of its founder, the gallery strategy of online visibility is definitely a niche that will attract its mainly targeted youthful artists who are a fad of several social media platforms. With active presence on social platforms like Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp, the gallery has already reached out to hundreds of artists (locally and internationally) in its two months of opening.
A drop into the gallery online, attests to the paved path the gallery intended to pursue. The art on display suggests a multiplicity of innovative processes with traditional and contemporary techniques of art making. Youthful artists like Carson Buka are experimenting with bark cloth and synthetic fabric to explore the subject of recycling in art; hence promoting environment sustainability and preservation. Mark Kassi, an established artist on the other hand, ventures into working with new media in form of digital printing fused with acrylics on canvas. While in conversation with the artist, he assented to the idea of having several art platforms to perpetuate the idea of limitless creativity and experimentation both locally and regionally.
“It is a good idea to have alternative spaces where artists can showcase their art for purpose of growing the art scene” Kassi said.
There is hardly anything one can say that can put in doubt the success of Masaka gallery. Its advent at the time when there’s unprecedented interest in Contemporary art from the region; evident with the growing number of artists from Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda, exhibiting at international art forums; is very timely. Yet the real success story of the gallery will be realized through the previous handiwork of its founder, Collin Sekajugo. For close to two decades now, he has crafted an incredible art career which has exposed him to regional, continental and international art landscapes. He will definitely exploit his artistic clout to promote and sustain this creative space like he has done elsewhere in Rwanda, Kenya, USA and now Uganda.
Masaka gallery is located along Birch Lane , Masaka,Uganda.