Creative and bold students grab rare opportunity
Kampala, Uganda | DOMINIC MUWANGUZI | How do you get students of art to understand an artist’s work in the real world? For Dr. Emmanuel Mutungi, Head of Department Art and Industrial Design at Kyambogo University in Kampala, the answer is clear; make them do a real artist’s work in the real world aka industrial training. Mutungi sees industrial training as a perfect gateway for learners to enter the world of work.
For this season, he has got his students to stage an exhibition at the Tadooba Gallery in nearby Mukono town under the general theme of `Rhymes of Astonishing Creations’.
Unlike previous exhibits where the students showed technical incompetence and lacked confidence on canvas, this time round, the second and third year students show they can draw and be innovative. Many applied the right studio skills in picture construction, tonality, perspective and depth as captured in their self-portraits, capture of still life, and imaginative (abstract) compositions. The young artists clearly wanted to present paintings that match the professional standards of other work exhibited in the gallery.
Tadooba Gallery Founder/ Director Weazher Mayanja Richard was impressed by how the trainees worked together to create different expressions of the theme. He says Mutungi’s approach is a major departure from the western modernist approach of art teaching that entirely excludes the hands-on approach and independent thinking.
At Tadooba Gallery art is practiced as it should be; as a practical subject. Students get skills beyond the classroom space. In this case they got hands-on knowledge on studio establishment and management, studio technology in their field of specialisation, and art entrepreneurship and marketing strategies. Those are some of the most important skills they need for the job market.
By engaging students in this professional approach to art production, the gallery is echoing its objectives to train students beyond the academic understanding and appreciation of art. This form of industrial training prepares the student to excel at each task they will face outside the school environs.
The exhibiting artists are all from Kyambogo University and include, Gilbert Natwijuka, Agnes Ajambo, Nambalirwa Sharon, Mminge Mark, Takan Raymond, Emmanuel Adoli, Tonny Bongole , Atuhairwe Fred and Kimuli Farahat.
The exhibition opened on July 13 and will run until August 25 at Tadooba Gallery, Mukono.