Arts Can Propel Nation Building

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK Namibia definitely needs more creative and skilled people to move the nation forward in a way only the arts can. This is the view of former arts and culture journalist, Erica Gebhard, who officially opened a Unam student art exhibition on Tuesday evening at the National Art Gallery of Namibia. The exhibition titled Flashback was preceded by a student modelling show with many people in attendance. “This art exhibition serves as a symbol of progress for the recognition of the importance of the arts in our community. Many of the artists exhibiting remember very little of our country’s colonial past. However, their magnificent works represent how far our young country has come in sixteen years. Their works tackle the issues of the day,” Gebhard said. She went on to encourage students to create more and better works by grabbing opportunities offered them at the Unam Visual Arts Department. “The ball is in your court to produce better and more than ever before. Grab this opportunity with both hands and share your works with the nation. Spread your wings, take you talents abroad so that people can know that there is a Namibia, which is blessed with many talents. Then add to your knowledge and bring it back so we too can be enlightened,” the young lady said. She also urged the student artists to fearlessly go into the nation’s past, the trials and tribulations, with an open and creative mind. “Learn from the past so that next year this exhibition is better and bigger for us all to learn from past works for you to improve in the future,” Gebhard said. The main sponsors of the exhibition that runs for the next two weeks are Standard Bank and the Namibia-Cultural Center (FNCC).