Speaking at the opening of the clay and metal sculpture workshop exhibition to empower women in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday evening, the TCC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Majd Abdou said there is a cultural aspiration in the country, which needs to be intensely nurtured through ongoing commitment to sustain the cultural heritage of the country with a particular focus on Arts.
“Supporting the local talent pool of artists will not only help in promoting the local arts and culture but; it will also give our artists the opportunity to make a decent living out of their talents,” he said. He noted that he hoped it would spur other companies and individuals to support local artists.
He paid tribute to the Vipaji Foundation and Alliance Française for providing the opportunity to re-connect the artists in the ongoing seven day exhibition. Noting that there is a cultural aspiration the community needs to nurture, he said, “As one of my predecessors and initiator of TCC sponsored arts and culture programmes once said, “The greatest artists have always relied on committed patrons and Tanzania has a wealth of artistic talent that needs such patronage”.
He said TCC is committed to supporting the arts and thanked the commitment by Vipaji Foundation to promote local arts, culture, and talent, adding that the Vipaji Workshop Programme founder, Sister Jean Pruitt’s devotion to arts as a deep inspiration. He said the exhibition aims at empowering women, an acknowledgement of the significant role that women play in shaping and developing society as a whole and arts and culture in particular.
The Japan Ambassador to Tanzania, Masaki Okada said Tanzania women were now also performing well in the arts industry. The Country Director of Alliance Française Sulivan Benetier said they work to promote and encourage artistic exchange, to make the cultural network stronger, and provide cultural access to everyone. He said the exhibition was the result of a Sculpture Workshop organized by the Vipaji foundation, which was created in 2010 to empower women artists.
The Metal Workshop took place at the Studio of Ugandan Metal Sculptor Francis Odoch, who has been an Instructor in clay work with Dogodogo Centre at the TCC Club since 2007. The ten women who participated in this two- week workshop were selected from University of Dar es Salaam Art Students and several are artists who have never worked with metal before.
The exhibition is open to the entire public and will last till September 14, this year. TCC’s partnership with Vipaji Foundation started in 2006, when thirteen carefully selected known artists were invited to participate in a Pastel Painting workshop at the TCC Social Club in Dar es Salaam.