Fine artists in the country are in the process of forming a grouping aimed at helping people distinguish between fine art and other forms of art.
One of the founding members, Kenneth Namalomba, said the grouping will help clients understand fine arts better and begin to appreciate it.
“For a very long time all visual art work has just been put in one box such that people cannot tell the difference between a craftsman and a fine artist. A fine artist is a type of artist that is able to create their own ideas or artworks without copying them,” Namalomba said.
He gave an instance of craftsmen who produce artworks that call for similar creativity and effort as fine artists but the later cannot replicate their work as their counterpart (craftsmen) may do because of the features that entail a fine art piece.
Namalomba and fellow fine artists feel it is high time they came to the spotlight and drew a clear distinction in their field for the growth of the industry.
“We believe that by detaching ourselves from other forms of art, we will be able to reach our target markets and also provide room for distinctive growth,” explained another member Myke Mtika.
He said the development will also give consumers an opportunity to get the exact service that they want because they will be able to meet an artist in the category of their choice.
Another fine artist, David Mzengo, said the distinction from other forms of art will help Malawians understand and appreciate them better.
“As it is now, there is that lack of appreciation for fine art which we feel is partly because the general masses do not really know the difference in these forms of art and they just put all art in one box,” he said.
However, the fine artists feel that there is a long way to go before Malawians can embrace fine arts because despite Chancellor College (Chanco) offering a course in this type of arts, graduates prefer to work in other fields than concentrating on arts.
“As it is now, may be only one out of 20 Chanco graduates continue with a career in fine arts after graduation. Most of them end up being teachers or do other jobs that are better paying. To be honest, it is not easy to earn a living as an artist in Malawi, particularly as a fine artist, because, unlike those who do portraits and other craft works, our paintings cost a lot more,” said another fine artist Gilbert Mpakule.
The fine artists were, however, mum on the name of the grouping saying it will be unveiled once the process is complete. Currently, the fine artists are linked through a WhatsApp group.