An Outdoor Exhibition of Contemporary Hand Carved Zimbabwean Sculpture Hosted by Toronto’s Historic Distillery District
What a delightful view this morning! As I walked Trinity Street in the Distillery my breathe was taken away. Well, not literally. Beautiful stone sculptures filled the street with their Zimbabwean magic. The outdoor contemporary sculpture exhibit transformed this already beautiful district into a public gallery with incredible three dimensional rock formations. It was magical. The cameras were definitely out with viewers passing by.
Public Reception Tonight 4 – 7 pm – Live Music by the Nyamamusango Marimba Ensemble
The public reception happens tonight on July 7, 4:00 to 7:00 pm with live music by the Nyamamusango Marimba Ensemble. A reception worth experiencing if you are in the area. The Stone Diaries is a showcase with works of 30 contemporary Zimbabwean stone sculptures. The Featured artist, Letwin Mugavazi, has traveled to Canada for a three month artist-in-residence program with ZimArt. Zimbabwe is the only African country known for their volcanic rock deposits. The rocks used are serpentine, opal, leppard, and lepido light, and cobalt. The photos don’t give justice to the colours of the stone formations.
Featured Zimbabwean Artist-in-Residence Letwin Mugavazi
The Artist-in-Residence Letwin Mugavazi is busy carving during the exhibition in the Distillery District. She is on site to both demonstrate and talk about her art. She has been sculpting for 19 years. No wonder she started from such a young age as she was raised in a family of sculptors. Her life doesn’t just focus on her sculpting alone Letwin has a husband and two daughters back in Zimbabwe. One of her stone sculptures can take a month or more to create depending on the piece and the amount of focus. I captured a photo of Letwin carving with opal stone. Seeing the process at the beginning, and the end products, provides a great amount of respect for the art form. Letwin sculpts a lot of female forms in different perspectives. She takes her inspiration from the female figure. “Celebrating women’s life” is what Letwin finds motivating in her creative process. This is her second time to Canada but first time being the feature artist. She was sought out by ZimArt to be the featured artist because she is one of the few female prominent sculpting artists in Zimbabwe. Here is a photo of My African Grandmother in Opal and this matriarchal beauty is for sale for only $6000.00
Host ZimArt Donates to Health Partners International of Canada
ZimArt has been curating exhibitions of Shona sculpture from Zimbabwe since 2000. Admission to see the Distillery District contemporary Zimbabwean sculpture exhibition is free. The live music is too. However, these stone beauties are for sale and donations are accepted and will go to the Health Partners International Canada to improve the health care capacity in Zimbabwe, and ZimaArt-in-Trust. This charitable organization is to benefit projects supporting HIV/AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe. There is still huge negative stigma attached to HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe and more information and awareness is needed to help communities that are affected by it.
If you are unfortunate to miss the stone sculptures at the Distillery, don’t worry. It is a shame but the art work is traveling this summer. The Rice Lake Gallery represents over 50 Zimabawean stone sculptures. Their work is exhibited primarily in the outdoors, in a beautiful natural oasis overlooking Rice Lake, 20 minutes of Port Hope. This all started when the curator and owner, Fran Fearnley, who travels to Zimbabwe each year to purchase the work directly from the artists. All the sculptures are hand-carved and authenticated. Sculpting workshops, led by a visiting Zimbabwean artist, are offered at the Gallery in August. This sounds like a workshop worth taking. Although the Rice Lake Gallery is open all year round, the ZimArt previews again from September 2-9, 2011.
Rice Lake Gallery Opening and Beaconsfield Seventh Annual Outdoor Exhibition
The public opening at the Rice Lake Gallery located at 855 Second Line Baileboro schedules previews anytime by appointment from September 2-9, 2011. The public exhibition will take place Sept 10 -25th noon to 7pm. It’s worth mentioning the closing party with a fundraising sculpture auction, healthy snacks, and live music by the Nyamamusango Marimba Ensemble. It will be taking place on the 25th of Sept. The ZimArt exhibition in collaboration with the city of Beaconsfield is at the seventh annual outdoor exhibition of the Shona Stone sculpture and will also be in Beaconfield July 30-August 7. All the works are for sale. Beautiful artwork highly recommended.