Visible Arts

Kobo Belief hosts college student interns

Robert Mugambi, artist-intern at Kobo Trust, on August 20, 2023, in the course of the interns’ Occupy Studio Exhibition. Photograph | POOL

Operating artists based at Kobo Rely on hosted 6 Kenyatta College (KU) students all through a one-day ‘Occupy Studio’ exhibition mounted previous weekend.

The display, which occupied two stages of the gallery at Kobo, showcased artworks designed by the six during their 3-thirty day period residency.

The even bigger selection of paintings that the 6 had created all through their continue to be was in the mini gallery up coming to the primary exhibition hall although several of their is effective in progress have been upstairs between the resident artists’ studios.

“The will work being exhibited are solely by the university student interns,” Kobo’s veteran artist, Onyis Martis, told BDLife a couple minutes in advance of the formal opening of the show.

Onyis preferred to make that issue very clear given that practically all the more mature artists at Kobo experienced a hand in mentoring the fifty percent-dozen KU painter-interns.


Cheryl Awinner at the Occupy Studio exhibition at Kobo Have confidence in, on August 20, 2023. Picture | POOL

According to the students, they acquired a ton from all the artists functioning at Kobo. But just after moving amongst them, every college student chosen one particular or two to stick with the relaxation of their days at the Belief.

These who mentored unique pupils were being David Thuku, Lemek Sompoika, Onesmus Okamai, Tim Ochola, and Paul Njihia (whose paintings are at the moment up at the Nairobi Present-day Artwork Institute (NCAI) in his very own ‘Common Ground’ group exhibition together with Peterson Kamwathi, Elias Mung’ora, and Morris Foit since the previous weekend).

The mentors

And Peter Elungat who experienced previously been at Kobo but shifted to Kitengela in which he has extra area and fresh new air experienced also mentored interns.

Elungat had moved out of Nairobi like so lots of area artists like James Muriuki, Chelenge van, Rampelberg, Justus Kyalo, Syowia Kyambi, Jimnah Kimani, and Nani Croze, the veteran glass artist who 1st went out there.

What was equally of desire to me was the actuality that prior to the 6 finding their way to Kobo Trust, the college had no formal partnership with the Have confidence in.

“It was us who discovered our way to Kobo immediately after examining out a number of other artwork centres and experience Kobo would be finest suited to our wants considering that most of us are painters as are the artists listed here,” stated Nadia Wanjiru, who experienced been mentored mostly by both of those Njihia and Onyis all through her time at Kobo.

That unbiased spirit paid off well for the college students who explained they had learned so a lot about Nairobi’s lively artwork scene.

What’s far more, like the ‘Wasanii wa Mtaani’ team exhibition at Alliance Francaise and the the latest ‘Under 30’ showcase entitled ‘Unbounded’ at Village Marketplace, all the interns at Kobo are in their 20s. For instance, Nadia is 21 even though Christabel Juma is 23. So are Cheryl Awinner, and Robert Mugambi. Only Njeri Njoroge is 24, and Mbogo Weru, 25.


Mbogo Were being, intern artist at Kobo Have faith in, on August 20, 2023, in the course of the interns’ Occupy Studio Exhibition. Photograph | POOL

It was Peterson Kamwathi who had noticed, right after walking by means of the Wasanii wa Mtaani exhibition, that we are presently witnessing the birth of the up coming generation of modern day Kenyan artists. I felt the exact same way immediately after seeing all the college student interns’ artwork at Kobo Rely on.

What is equally genuine about the artworks of this youthful generation is the intriguing blend of subjects that interest them.

For a even though a person of them loved to paint snakes and a different was a tattoo artist just before he went to KU, quite a few grew up affected by elders who supported and encouraged them to pursue their desires and follow their passions to wherever they led.

This is in sharp contrast to the point of view held by most moms and dads just a handful of decades in the past when they couldn’t believe that that a qualified artist could receive a residing, allow by itself a livelihood that was ample to raise a spouse and children.

A person intern advised us that he was washing his father’s paintbrushes right before he was 5.

“I had a passion for high-quality artwork flowing as a result of my blood from an early age,” Robert Mugambi told us last Saturday.


Nadia Wanjiru, artist intern at Kobo Believe in at the Occupy Studio Exhibition, on August 20, 2023. Image | POOL

He had decided on to do the job intently with Lemek Sompoika as nicely as Paul Njihia. Meanwhile, Mbogo Weru grew up with his grandfather who had driven lorries for a residing, but in his spare time, he painted and inspired his grandson to do the identical.

Mugambi also selected to split his time involving two artists, David Thuku and Tim Ochola. So had Christabel Juma.

She arrived less than the impact of each Onesmus Okamar and Peter Elungat, one particular of the very first artists to uncover studio room at Kobo and even now sees himself as an affiliate of the Believe in.

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By Indana