Tourism and Arts Minister Jean Kapata has opened the first ever art gallery in Livingstone which was constructed at a total cost of K6,000,000.
Officially opening the art gallery on Thursday, Ms Kapata urged artists in Livingstone to trade in authorized areas.
Ms Kapata said the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, through the National Arts Council of Zambia (NAC) would continue to develop the facility to higher standards expected of a gallery in a tourist capital.
She said as the country celebrated its 50 years of independence, the expectations of the newly built art gallery were high.
Ms Kapata said the Ministry was expectant that artists would maximize the usage of the gallery to promote tourism in the country.
“With the construction of this gallery, we do not expect to see artists trading in unauthorized areas. The Maramba cultural village just across will also provide improved market access to the tourists as well as the public who wish to buy souvenirs from Livingstone the great tourist capital of Zambia,” Ms Kapata said.
Ms Kapata said the gallery would also contribute towards employment creation in the creative arts industries space.
She said the Livingstone gallery which would carter for visual arts from various categories including painters, photographers, sculptors and ceramics, had commenced installation of equipment and that the exercise was expected to be completed by January 2015.
Ms Kapata appealed to the Livingstone Tourism Association (LTA) and other tour operators in Livingstone to include the gallery and the recently built Maramba cultural village on the city tourism circuit.
And speaking earlier at the same occasion, NAC Chairperson Mulenga Kapwepwe said much had happened in the art sector in Zambia from the colonial times.
Ms Kapwepwe said artists during the struggle for independence played an important role by expressing themselves in order for the country to be liberated.
She said the art gallery was a special gift and had a special meaning for the artists as the country celebrated 50 years of independence.
“Artists played their role during the struggle for independence, they expressed themselves using among other things paint and brushes.
The works of artists capture vividly the experiences of our people during the struggle for freedom,” Ms Kapwepwe said.
Ms Kapwepwe appealed to artists to embrace the arts gallery and make use of it to promote local tourism.
From : Lusaka Times
20 October 2014