By Frederick Philander
A stern warning was last week issued to guard against the haphazard training of large numbers of Namibian artists – a tendency that can be detrimental to arts development.
This was said by the project manager at the Finnish embassy, Elise Heikkinen when she officially opened the JMAC student independence exhibition currently on display at the National Art Gallery.
“For the past few years JMAC has been one of the Finnish embassy’s main partners in art education and capacity building. Our support through JMAC has been mainly availed for rural crafts people and for after school children’s art classes. We are very happy that JMAC has offered opportunities for youngsters from all walks of life to develop their skills and talent,” Heikkinen said.
In her view training without a vision can sometimes do more harm than good.
“If there are no opportunities for employment or income generation after training one has raised the expectations and given false hope to the trainee.
This can cause more damage than good. I therefore call on all Namibian art stakeholders to focus on specific opportunities needed after training and not to offer training for the sake of training of large numbers of people. Only by offering opportunities can we claim success in contributing to the national development,” she concluded.