Visual artists in the country have called for more government support to complement what other stakeholders in the arts sector are doing.
Speaking at the end of the Bi-annual Art in the Park Festival in Lilongwe, one of the organisers, Nyangu Chodola, said the little or no support towards visual artists from the government is burdening other stakeholders.
The first edition of the 2021 Art in Park Festival started on Friday and ended on Sunday evening at Four Seasons Garden. The event was sponsored by the European Union (EU) in Malawi, House of Besiah, Ufulu Gardens and SunnyMoney.
Despite the lack of support from government, Chodola said it was a “major success”.
“We had 400 clients this session from the 183 which we had during the November 2020 event. 46 artists compared to last year’s 36 also attended,” he said.
Chodola said 162 art sales were made this year where as in November there were 110 sales.
Speaking during the opening ceremony on Friday, EU chargé d’affairres Aurelie Valtat said their special interest in Malawi’s art is two-fold.
She said: “Art is a universal language. It is also about building bridges between Malawians and Europeans as well as finding a common ground. So, culture and art is the perfect way to do it.
“The second one is job creation because we think there is lot of potential for Malawian artists to create jobs and develop the industry.”
On his part, director of arts Humphreys Mpondaminga said the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife is working towards supporting more artists, including visual artists, to cushion them from effects of Covid-19.
“We are working towards replicating what we have done with folklore, musicians and poets.
“We are approaching various donors as it was not possible to package all sectors in one basket,” he said.