With an ever increasing pool of artists, it is important that there be enough galleries in the city to house all their works and this past week, a new gallery opened its doors to artists from in and around Gaborone. The new gallery; Botswerere Art Gallery which was officially opened by the acting Minister of Youth Sports and Culture Honorable Vincent Seretse, adds to the already existing galleries of Thapong at the Village, Octagon at the National Museum and the Sophie Lalonde at iTower’s CBD.
According to the Minister, “We named this space Botswerere Art Gallery as we believe that it will inspire creativity and artistic excellence among our artists. This space will be used to display our art and it is my sincere hope that exhibitions held here will play a part in unearthing and developing talent among our youth.”
Although small, the gallery which is located at the Central Business District in the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture had a few art works on display from several artists on the night of its opening. The art works included clothing, hand painted pottery, woven baskets, and hats, mats made from hide, paintings, drawing, photographic works and many others.
The government funded gallery will be open only on weekdays from 9am until 4pm. According to the Principal Curator at the Ministry Monica Selelo, the gallery can hold about 50 pieces of works and any practicing artist can exhibit at the gallery provided their work is up to standard. “We are hoping to attract fine artists and craft producers and that means anyone whose work is up to standard can exhibit. What they can do is to apply to the Ministry of Sports Youth and Culture and have their portfolios ready to be viewed,” explained Selelo.
Seretse urged Batswana to support local arts and play a role in skills development in the creative industry. He mentioned that of all the sectors in the arts and craft industry there were still other sectors lagging behind such as quilt making, a skill he said is set to have a workshop planned for November 2014 on a day yet to be disclosed.