New Arts body Taking Shape

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By Nicky Marais WINDHOEK Through an invitation from the National Gallery of Namibia, more than 50 visual artists met at the National Gallery of Namibia in June last year to start the process of forming their own independent member-driven organisa-tion of artists. The growing need for an organisation that represents, supports and disseminates information about the visual artists living and working in Na-mibia has prompted the formation of a vibrant new organisation committed to developing visual arts and artists in Namibia. The meeting will take place next Friday at 18h00 at the Namibia National Arts Gallery. An interim committee was nominated and tasked with spreading the word about the new initiative, constituting the organisation, setting aims and objectives and organising the first AGM. This committee consists of active Namibian visual artists: Helge Denker (chairperson), Marianne von der Lippe (vice-chairperson), Nicky Marais (secretary), Alpheus Mvula, Ziggy Marthin, Jost Kirsten, Imke Rust, Helga Kohl, Wallo Tjijenda, Shiya Kharuseb and co-opted members: Cathy McRoberts and Helena Brandt, (chairperson of the now dissolved Artists Guild). The new organisa-tion was provisionally na-med Visual Artists – Nami-bia or VA-N and a date was set for the official launch. The VA-N interim committee and the National Gallery hereby invite all visual artists living and working in Namibia to the first AGM of the organisation on April 07, 2006 in the main gallery of the National Art Gallery of Namibia. At this event VA-N will be officially launched, the first executive committee will be elected and the first members will be signed up. Annual membership fees will be decided at the AGM and will entitle members to take part in VA-N activities, and benefit from all VA-N initiatives. As an organisation VA-N hopes to work on a local, regional, national and international level, with priority given to local and regional levels and to encourage and support the self-empowerment and self-sustainability of visual artists, while pursuing the following aims: – Represent visual artists in Namibia; – Raise awareness of and promote visual artists in Namibia and their work; – Safeguard the rights of visual artists in Namibia; – Make connections, liaise and cooperate with other Namibian and international individuals and organi-sations; and – Provide support and development to visual artists in Namibia, with emphasis on supporting and developing emerging artists. More information about VA-N, including the Draft Constitution, is available from The National Gallery or Nicky (081 273 5044), Alpheus (081 248 2543), Marianne (081 253 5868).