The first ever Lamu Art Festival marked over valentine weekend attracted international artists from Germany, Netherlands, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States of America in colourful event that was celebrated on February 11-14.
With the aim of promoting local talent, the festival saw more than 120 local artists register and participate, as well as pupils from neighbouring schools, polytechnics and Universities.
The artists underwent training sessions to sharpen their skills and boost motivation. There were also craft fairs, art exhibitions, music performances including an open concert at Mkunguni square whose theme was promoting peace and unity.
Nazizi, the Kaya collective and Shamir were among the top Kenyan artists who entertained the crowd.
Technical University of Mombasa Lamu Campus was not left behind, Yusra Omar a Diploma student in Procurement and Material Management participated in the Shella Hat Contest which attracted many tourists both local and international at Shella beach.
Yusra’s Hat dubbed aluminium baobab was unique and caught the eyes of international artists. “I am a fun of making hats. I have come here for competition and to have fun too.” Yusra said.
Mr. Joachim Sauter an international artist from Germany was also the talk of the festival with his sculpture depicting four men carrying blocks. The 59 years old artist who holds a Masters Degree of fine arts from South Germany University explained that it took him two and half years to complete his work. “ I got timber from mahogany tree. I used special power saw for curving, chisels and hammers.” Joachim narrated.
Lamu County deputy governor Eric Mugo who officially opened the festival reiterated that Lamu was registered as World heritage Centre because of its rich history in art.
“Our buildings, chairs, ornaments are full of art and are admired all over the world. The history of Lamu cannot be complete without art.” The deputy governor said.
In an exclusive interview with corporate communications office, Tourism and Culture Executive Samia Omar requested the ministry of education to re-introduce art and craft subject in primary schools to nurture talents at an early age.