Using Art To Enhance The Surroundings

Using Art To Enhance The Surroundings

Developing characters 

Art and painting are fast becoming a tag of identity in Uganda's sorroundings, especially with the growth of branding as a corporate identifier.  

Artists derive influence and themes from their distinctive and rapidly developing culture, surroundings and mix them with modern demands.

Across Sub-Saharan Africa, contemporary art remains particularly influenced by the agglomeration of historical and political forces that have shaped the country in question.

In Europe, art patronage has been dominated by the tastes and demands of bourgeois collectors for centuries: the art market.

In 1990, a new breed of Ugandan artists experimenting in form and style, using new motifs, textures and colours.

If a period can, the 1990s represented “some kind of avant garde for Ugandan art”, says George Kyeyune, Ugandan artist, scholar and teacher, and former Dean of Makerere University School of Fine Art.

Using paint and a brush to create art characters.

The country has few galleries and art exhibitions from where the artists and students of art can exhibit their works. Apart from painting, other forms of art include; Industrial art and design, sculpture and drawing.

Most of the paintings are on perimeter walls of nursery and lower primary schools

With the introduction of the Skilling Uganda program, talented artists should be identified and motivated, to create a sustainable source of income. 

The artists can be employed as fine art teachers in schools, curaters in museums, in print media and advertising agencies as designers, in addition to working as freelance painters.

The artists consult each other while on a painting assignment.

With the exception of rock art, pictorial art was not well developed in Uganda before the arrival of Europeans. However, this art form has since become, perhaps, the most popular in Uganda because it requires relatively cheap materials and can be done in a relatively short period of time.

A pedestrian admires an art painting along Namirembe Road, Kampala.

Formal art education in the country owes its origin to Christian missionaries and the work of Margaret Trowell, who established the Fine Art School in 1937 at Makerere University, now known as Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts.

Artist poses by his perimeter wall painting.

Many of the new art genres can be traced to the introduction of western education in the country, growing commercialization of Ugandan art, growing exposure of Ugandan artists to art forms from other parts of the world, and the increasing availability of modern art materials and techniques in the world.

A perimeter wall of Victorious Education Services, along Namirembe Road, decorated with wall paintings.

Contemporary Ugandan artists of all genres fall into two classes; those who are formally trained and those who use art for commercial gain. Formally trained artists view their work as a form of self-expression, produce relatively few signed artworks, and exhibit their works in galleries, museums and cultural centers.

Commercial artists work in informal settings and see themselves as artist-entrepreneurs mass-producing a commodity for the street or open market. Because of market forces, artist-entrepreneurs dominate the contemporary art scene.


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