First Kenya Art Fair Attended by Thousands
Over the past few years, artists like Michael Soi and Cyrus Kabiru placed Kenya on the global visual arts map. The first Kenya Art Fair is part of this move.
From November 6 – 9, 2014, the Sarit Center Exhibition Hall in Nairobi’s Westlands area was the epicentre of this vibrant art fair. Organized by Kuona Trust and sponsored by the Go Down arts centre, Pawa 254 and the Nation Media Group, the Kenya Art Fair gathered personalities from the national art scene to debate and build a stronger artistic movement through discussions and exhibitions. The exciting encounters between artists, gallery owners, collectors, art lovers and curious people has nurtured new and future collaborations.
Participants included Abdi Rashid Jibril from Arterial Network, Danda Jaroljmek from the Circle Art Agency, Elisabeth Nasubo from the Ministry of Culture and many creators like the performance artist Ato Malinda and the master cartoonist Gado. The diverse line-up of panels such as “digital art”, “the role of Kenyan government in supporting the contemporary visual arts sector”, “cartoon and comic strip”, “art and business” and “the visual artists challenge” offered visitors tantalizing choices. The talks have been a space for the exchange of ideas and debate thanks to broad audience participation.
Admission was free, and the organizers estimate that over 5,000 people visited the Fair. According to Kuona Trust director Sylvia Gichia, even the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta took a stroll through the art fair to show her support for the art world.