|By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, July 05, 2001 - 11:20 am: Edit Post|
Quite an experience in Zimbabwe by Tom R. Chambers
Quite an experience in Zimbabwe
Tom R. Chambers Documentary Photographer/Visual Artist
I also had the opportunity to initiate and instruct a photography workshop for the Gallery's Art School. Rather than reiterate, I'll list a couple of media releases generated by the local press, and samples of the Africans' work follow:
News coverage: ‘Photography added to curriculum’, The Herald, Harare, Zimbabwe, May 17, 1993: "A U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, Mr. Tom R. Chambers, has introduced photography as part of the 1993 curriculum for the BAT (Art) Workshop School. The workshop is an affiliate of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. Mr. Chambers said that this is the first time the medium of photography has been introduced into the Workshop School’s curriculum as a serious tool for self-expression. He said that the fine arts/documentary photography program was named ‘The McEwen Photographic Studio’ after the first director of the National Gallery and in recognition of his workshop activities for artists during the 1950s and 1960s. Mr. Chambers is currently teaching twelve second-year A-level art students at the workshop."
Newsletter: ‘Moments In Time’, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe, September 7, 1993: "This photographic exhibition is the first to be held by students of the BAT Workshop School. ‘The McEwen Photographic Studio’ was recently formed by Mr. Tom R. Chambers, a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, who is at present assisting in the compilation of our Permanent Collection Catalogue. Through generous sponsorship, Mr. Chambers, a professional photographer, was enabled to hold classes in photography at the BAT Workshop premises. Photography is a fine art which, to date has not had much encouragement or promotion in Zimbabwe. We are confident that this fine exhibition will be the beginning of a new era in the field of visual arts. The exhibition is by courtesy of the United States Peace Corps and BAT Zimbabwe."
The introduction of the medium of photography into the Gallery's Art School (sponsored by BAT Ltd.) nurtured ... over a three-year period (1993-1995) ... the exceptional talent by African artists ('school leavers') to grasp the medium and possibly, again, have a significant impact for the visual arts of Zimbabwe at the international level. The students' photographs were exhibited as 'Moments In Time' (1993), 'Moments In Time II' (1994) and 'Moments In Time III' (1995) at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. The U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe officially opened the exhibitions. At some later date, I hope to combine the photographs from all three exhibitions under the namesake, 'Africa: Moments In Time', and show these works throughout the United States.