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May 2017

African art evades Africans as popularity, recognition increase
- Miscellaneous
Writing in the NY Times, Chika Okeke-Agulu emphasized the dilemma of African art, which is being more appreciated and valued than ever, bringing record prices, at the same time it is becoming ever less available to the peoples of the continent. The need for national and regional museums to bring home-grown art to the public from whom it sprang is a key requirement for recycling Africa's creative talents into new generations.

(Thanks to JGC for calling this to our attention via Facebook.)

Read More

April 2017

New: Shop Amazon and help Ugandart FREE!
- Miscellaneous
Here's an wonderful new easy way to support Kisa Foundation USA, and it won't cost you a cent. Anytime you want to buy something on Amazon, log into and specify Kisa Foundation USA from the "pick your own charitable organization" window. From then on, Amazon will donate 0.5 % of everything you spend to Kisa Foundation.

You get all the same products on as on regular amazon, and at the same prices so the transition is painless.

So far, has donated $46 million to designated charities.

Help us continue our work of providing art therapy to HIV-AIDS patients, and free art workshops for orphans and street children in Uganda. Register for Amazon Smile now, and pick Kisa Foundation USA as your charity of choice.

January 2017

Ssali featured in Independent Magazine story
- Miscellaneous
ARTS: ` Ladies’ Man’ Ssali strikes again
Nathan Kiwere January 30, 2017
ARTS, In The Magazine,

Majority of his close friends are female, most of his clients want women-themed works, and most of the people who collect his works, locally and internationally, are women. How then can one possibly be wrong to conclude that renowned Uganda acrylic painter Yusuf Ssali is the ultimate `ladies’ man’ – at least in the artistic sense?

In reality – and let’s get this straight – Ssali is a married in a stable relationship. In fact, he is not known for philandering. The thing is that Ssali has a special thing with women, which has trickled through his art for the past thirteen years like no other subject. This is accentuated by his sphere of influence being dominated by womankind.

They all have been mesmerized by one thing – African women. Moreover, Ssali is not alone in this enterprise; countless Ugandan artists have arrogated themselves the responsibility to ‘speak’ for women and have, in the process, rendered the female body in their art in a plethora of forms ranging from glamour to the lewd, all for different reasons.

The woman’s breast has suffered the greatest wrath of artists as they have sought to define and redefine it in infinite of shapes and colours.

Ssali has, meanwhile, sought to bring out womankind’s side that appeals to a universal audience without having to vulgarise her. This could probably explain the special love relationship between his audience and his work for such a long time.

Since he graduated from art school at Makerere University in Kampala in 2003, his practice has been limited to acrylics, a water-based paint medium because of being allergic to oil-based paint. In acrylics, he wrought semi abstracts works with no clear depiction of the women’s facial details. The intense primary colours that dominate his palette have radiated the subjects in all their grace and charm in a way that quite easily casts an entrancing reaction.

Ssali has since the recent past been gradually gravitating towards another genre in the form of non-representational abstraction whereas keeping faithful to ‘his women’. In this genre he employs a wide-ranging colour palette to experiment and come up with works that have little or no affinity to forms in the natural world. This approach is increasingly becoming popular among his collectors. It was made popular during the age of post-modern Abstract Expression that started in New York in the 1960s championed by the likes of Jackson Pollock and Any Warhol. It was at first defiance against the established norms of formalism but now it has been entrenched as the de facto technique practiced around the world today. Since last December into mid this month, Yusuf Ssali’s works were on exhibition at AKA Gallery in Kamwokya, Kampala, one of Uganda’s leading spaces keen on promoting a dynamic array of techniques from modern art to the avant-garde. He has been widely exhibited in France, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, the United States and, of course, Uganda.


Ssali's Women

September 2016

We're holding a big exhibition in Berkeley in November
- Miscellaneous
Over 100 paintings and prints by Uganda Art Consortium members will be on display at Berkeley Arts Festival Gallery Nov. 5-30. The Gallery is spacious, well laid out and centrally located at 2133 University Av. in downtown Berkeley, just a few blocks from the University of California campus. This will be one of the largest shows we've ever held. Artists include Kaspa Kasambeko, Yusuf Ssali, James Nsamba, Chaz Mbazira, Farouk Mukwaya, Kizito Fred Kakinda and Mathias Tusiime. Well also have numerous works by kids from our children's workshops and crafts from the Mulago Hospital programs.

Mulago class sends aprons and handbags
- Miscellaneous
A new shipment of craft items from our Mulago Hospital workshop is on its way from Uganda and should be here in time for the KPFA Crafts Fair December 17 & 18, at Craneway Pavilion in Richmond CA. About a dozen patients in the art therapy workshop made aprons, hand bags and jewelry which we'll sell to raise money to continue the programs. Hundreds of HIV-AIDS patients at Mulago have participated in our programs there led by Kaspa Kasambeko, Yusuf Ssali, James Nsamba and Farouk Mukwaya.

New kids workshop starts in Namungona
- Miscellaneous
Over 200 kids in Namungona are expected to attend a new series of free art workshops starting Sept. 24. The month long workshops coincide with school holidays and feature training in tie-dye, jewelry making and painting and drawing.

Art Therapy Really Works, Drexel U. Study Shows
- Miscellaneous
New Research by a Drexel University College of Nursing professor shows that just about 45 minutes of free art-making in a studio attended by an art therapist was enough to increase patients' confidence in themselves and their ability to complete tasks.

Read the whole article

Read the whole article

July 2016

The Football Art Project
- Miscellaneous
One day in June we took a bunch of kids from Namungona to Nansana to meet some of the players in the Nansana Youth Football League. We watched the players practice, and we all had a great time. The kids made sketches of what they saw on the football pitch that day, and later they created several paintings based on their experiences. It was a very successful outing.

More Photos Here

Kalerwe kids art and recycling program on national TV in Uganda
- Miscellaneous
Uganda TV News show features Kalerwe kids art program started by Mathias Tusiime.

Kalerwe TV Program

February 2016

November 2015

Art Center Offers Multiple Programs
- Miscellaneous
The public is invited to visit Namungona Children's Art Center to learn about our educational and therapeutic art activities. Enjoy, ponder and purchase art. Proceeds support the Center and our related community activities. Click the adjacent image to view a poster with details.

September 2015

Grand Opening of Namungona Children's Art Center Oct. 3
- Miscellaneous
Gala celebration of the opening of our new kids art center in Namungona will be held Oct. 3. The Center is on the Hoima road in Namungona opposite Mvule boda-boda stage. There will be free art materials and instruction for any kids who come, art and craft items for sale, music and dancing and visits by distinguished guests and community leaders. Please join us.

Click image for large poster.

August 2015

Ugandart Member Mathias Tusiime Dedicated to his Art (Video)
- Community
Thirty-eight year-old Mathias Tusiime is one whose love for fine Art is overwhelming. Tusiime started working as a janitor at the Margaret Trowell School of industrial and fine arts Makerere University in 1999.

Tusiime has attended APEXart and University of Florida programs and has taught seminars in the USA on art therapy. He is a founding member of Uganda Art Consortium.

Ed.: Most of Ugandart's creative members have more than one vocation. Purchases via this site help support their professional and charitable activities.

View the Video at YouTube

Arts in Health at U/FL Benefits Children's Art Center
- Miscellaneous
Students in the Arts in Health program at University of Florida in Gainseville held and art sale recently and donated the proceeds to Namungona Children's Art Center to help buy desks and tables. The event is called "InchxInch." The club gets art donated from the community and members then they sell it by the square inch.

Brooke Borgert who helped run the event said, "Unfortunately we had to change venue last minute and had a rainstorm so our donation is a little lower than our projected amount but I hope it helps and we will definitely be in touch for our future events!"

May 2015

New series of workshops have started at Mulago
- Miscellaneous
A new series of workshops focused on creating handcrafted handbags, aprons, clothing and other items has started at Infectious Diseases Institute at Mulago Hospital. Workshop leaders are Yusuf Ssali, Kaspa Kasambeko and James Nsamba.

More Photos

March 2015

Building a new children's art center in Namungona
- Miscellaneous
Uganda Art Consortium now has a new building in Namungona to house our Children's Art Center. It is a converted 20 ft. shipping container that now will contain our office, gallery, studios and clasrooms. It is smack on the main road in the heart of Namungona across from the Mvule boda-boda stage. The new gallery/studio/office/workshop will serve hundreds of local kids with classes in painting, drawing, jewelry making and other craft skills. Funds to buy and equip the new headquarters came from our 2013 Indiegogo campaign and a generous donation from Harriet Koch.

For more photos and other info about our programs in Uganda, see my Uganda 2015 blog.

February 2015

Tusiime named Internatonal Guest Fiber Artist in Boston Show
- Miscellaneous
Mathias Tusiime was named International Guest Fiber Artist at The Theresa Show, January 7-Feb. 13 at the Harriet Tubman Gallery of United South End Settlements (USES) in Boston. Founded in 2013, this annual exhibition celebrates the legacy and work of Theresa India-Young (1950-2008), fiber artist and long-time South End resident. The show featured Tusiime's oil paintings on hand made paper composed of cloth fibers, leaves, grass and other natural materials.

December 2014

December Kids Workshop in Namungona
- Miscellaneous
School children are out of class for holiday in Uganda, so its time for another free children's art workshop in Namungona. About 125 local children have been attending the December workshops ate God is With Us Primary School and the Sanyuka Ministries Primary School. James Nsamba and Farouk Mukwaya are conducting the classes, teaching painting, drawing and jewelry making.

Burnt Edge Exhibition in Oakland, CA
- Miscellaneous
Thirty Six artworks by Uganda Art Consortium members are on display November 17 to January 20 in the Burnt Edge exhibition at the Prescott Joseph Center in Oakland, California. Annette Nakafu, who has six of her works in the show, attended the opening while visiting in Oakland before she heads back to Uganda later this month. The Exhibition is open M-F, 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM at Prescott Joseph Center, 920 Peralta St, Oakland, CA 94607.

November 2014

USA Green Card Lottery Closes 3 November
- Miscellaneous
NOTE: Online registration for the Diversity Visa Lottery 2016 Program, also known as the Green Card Lottery will begin on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 and conclude on Monday, November 3, 2014. Sorry, we just learned of this. Read on to find information on how you can apply at the official website here. (Links are live in the News section.)

More information

October 2014

Abib Mpima now earns a living making and selling jewelry
- Miscellaneous
James Nsamba reports from Namungona, “Abib Mpima is now making a living from skills he learned in Uganda Art Consortium children’s workshops in 2008-2009.”
Nsamba, teacher and coordinator of our Namungona program says, “In the workshops he learned how to make bangles and bracelets. Now he makes dozens at a time and sells them wholesale to shops in Kampala. He still comes back to the Namungona studio every few days to make more jewelry. We’re also going to use him as a teacher to other kids in our next workshop coming up in November.”

Annette Nakafu coordinates Mulago programs
- Miscellaneous
Annette Nakafu is the coordinator of Uganda Art Consortium programs at Mulago Hospital. She leads a group of 8 UAC volunteers who visit the hospital on a regular basis to teach basic art skills to HIV-AIDS patients in the hospital’s Infectious Diseases Institute.

The program has provided art instruction and practice to over 2,000 patients in the last three years who come to the hospital everyday for treatment and medications. Hospital officials say that the program provides a huge psychological and emotional boost for patients and their families, helping them overcome the stigma, isolation and despair that often afflicts HIV-AIDS patients.

Annette recently completed (on scholarship) The Arts in Medicine for Global Communities Intensive at the University of Florida.

In her own work, Annette’s brilliant use of collage as an art medium makes her work unique in almost any setting. She frequently uses recycled magazine pages to create portraits and still lifes. She regularly leads art therapy sessions in painting, drawing, collage, jewelry making, ceramics and tie-and-dye.

Annette started her volunteer work when she herself was hospitalized at Mulago with meningitis. She found that working with art materials helped her avoid the boredom and depression that often comes with long hospital stays. Her artwork impressed the hospital staff so much, they asked her to come back, after her recovery, and help teach art to others patients. She sells her artwork at the hospital and has shown her work at several galleries in Kampala. She has 2 children, 18 and 16, and also helps support her mother. Click here to see photos of Mulago programs and some of Annette's recent work.

Uganda Art Consortium welcomes Dr. Phillip Kwesiga to Boston
- Miscellaneous
Dr. Phillip Kwesiga, head of the Department of of Visual Communication Design and Multimedia at Makerere University in Uganda was the guest of Uganda Art Consortium in Boston Massachusetts recently. Pete Meyer, board member of Kisa Foundation USA and Jackie McRath, UAC Advisory Board,Held a reception for Dr. Kwesiga, and introduced him around Boston's art community. In the photo, Lana Jackson, Director of Student Life & Career Service, North Bennett Street School, private vocational school, explains her fine arts program to Kwesiga.

Tusiime Teaches Art Styles in Boston
- Miscellaneous
The kids art program at South End Settlements in Boston, Massachusetts, is world famous. In 2013, Ugandart member Mathias Tusiime led a workshop for chlldren in which they experienced with East African art themes and materials during a US visit.

Twelve local children. took part in the three hour session. Tusiime provided pictures and stories about Uganda. After learning about African culture and traditions, kids drew their impressions.

In a parallel activity, the kids learned how to make their own paper. First they created a mat of sisal fiber to provide strength for the paper. Next they mixed raw materials, Cassava flour and shredded newsprint. They then spread the goop over the matrix. After forming, the finished mat has to dry before it can be painted on.

In appreciation of her work presenting Ugandan art to Boston art lovers, Tusiime presented Jackie McRath with one of his paintings.

The adjacent graphic shows Tusiime with a Children's Art Centre staff member. Click the following link for more photos.

More Photos

September 2014

Indiegogo Campaign Nets $2,300
- Miscellaneous
Our 2014 Indiegogo campaign raised $2,300 toward a prospective training and therapy center near Kampala. Additional donations are always welcome. Here's a video review of Ugandart's recent fundraising effort with Indiegogo.

Mukiibi Attends Certification Training in Florida
- Miscellaneous
Consotium member Hassan Mukiibi has completed a training course on art therapy in Florida (graphic; click for larger view). The program was offered by the Center for Arts in Medicine by the University of Florida.

More information about the program may be found at the following link.

More Information about Louis XII.

Ugandan Art Sale in Richmond CA
- Miscellaneous
Uganda Art Consortium is holding a special sale Sept. 13-14 at 6050 Felix Ave. in Richmond CA. Proceeds from the sale will support art therapy sessions at Mulago Hospital in Kampala for HIV-AIDS victims and free children's art workshops held in various locations in the Namungona area. We have over 400 artworks in our inventory and many pieces will be marked down substantially to make room for new works from members of the consortium.

May 2014

March 2014

A visit to Karamoja
- Miscellaneous
In March 2014 I visited the Atedeoi Village in the Karamoja District of Uganda to explore the possibility of setting up a children’s art training project.
The Karamoja district in Northeast Uganda is the poorest areas in Uganda and one of the poorest regions in the world according to the United Nations Human Development Index. The long dry season makes farming difficult. People live by raising goats and cattle and selling charcoal and firewood. The Karamoja have a warrior tradition that was expressed through cattle raids and rustling in neighboring regions and across the border with Kenya. After a several-years campaign, the Ugandan army brought an end to most cattle raiding and confiscated over 30,000 guns. The Uganda government declared the campaign successful in 2011 but thousands of people had been killed, arrested, and tortured in the process according to many reports at the time.
The Karamojong have been resistant to many efforts to impose modernization. They have a nomadic tradition. Their stick and thatch Manyattas (villages) can be easily picked up and moved to better grazing territory. The long dry season argues against extensive gardening or crop planting. Education for children is not highly valued. Villagers resist using latrines or and other sanitation measures.
I traveled with two Makerere University faculty members Fred Kakinda and Simon Banga. Mildred Achen, a Makerere graduate student was our very capable guide and translator. Patrick Kyongera was our driver. Banga and Kakinda have been working to set up a children’s art training program that focusses on hygiene and sanitation issues and helps children express their feelings about the community’s long history of conflict and violence.
We got the P5 and P6 level kids to talk about and draw impressions of everyday life, and their visions of the future. Then they transferred the drawings onto an outside wall of the schoolhouse, and we created a 12’ by 6 foot mural based on the kids’ ideas. We had to work fast. The mural wall was in shade until noon. Then the blazing sun would make painting the wall extremely difficult and uncomfortable, so we had to finish the workshop and painting effort by noon.

The setting, the process and the end result can be seen in my photos on Flickr.

Also, see my video of traditional Karamoja dancing.

February 2014

Yusuf Ssali will be teaching art classes on a Mombasa beach
- Miscellaneous
UAC artist Yusuf Ssali has become so well known in neighboring Kenya, he has been invited to teach art classes open to the public at a beach front gallery in Mombasa. The workshops will run from March 15 to April 27.

January 2014

Over 700 attended our art workshops in 2013
- Miscellaneous
Over seven hundred children and HIV-AIDS patients attended Uganda Art Consortium workshops in 2013.
Over 360 people took part in 36 art therapy sessions held at the Infectious Diseases Institute at Mulago Hospital in Kampala.
Classes included jewelry making from July 17 to September 2, and tie & dye from October 1 to December 31. Uganda Art Consortium members James Nsamba, Farouk Mukwaya, Peter Kalyango and Hassan Mukiibi and Program Coordinator Annette Nakafu conducted the sessions.

A few kilometers away in Namungona nearly 400 children were in attendance at three series of workshops during the year. Sessions were held at Nansans Junior School in April; Elton Brilliant School on Entebbe Rd. in July and August; and at God is With Us Primary School, Namungona in October and November. Plus, dozens of kids visit our Namungona studios every weekend and holiday to hang out with the artists, Jim Nsamba, Farouk Mukwaya and Peter Kalyongo, and to learn painting, drawing and jewelry skills.
The sale of artwork at exhibitions and online pays the cost of the workshops. The artwork includes works by our member artists as well as paintings and jewelry by participants in Mulago art therapy sessions and Namungona children’s workshops.

More photos here

September 2013

Mukiibi shows his art in Nairobi
- Miscellaneous
Hassan Mukiibi has several new paintings on display at Banana Hill art gallery in Nairobi September 21-October 4. Two other artists, Mariah Nansamba and Kisamba are also in the show.

Watch our Indegogo video
- Miscellaneous
We have launched a fund raising campaign on to help build a children's art center in Kampala. Donors will receive rewards of original artworks made by the children in our workshops. Donors of $10 will receive a hand made jewelry item. $100 donors will receive an original oil painting. Watch our video and see the rewards you can get. Go to Indiegogo.

August 2013

Mulago Workshops In Full Swing
- Miscellaneous
Mulago Hospital draws patients from all over Uganda for treatment therapy and medication. While they are waiting for medical care, Uganda Art Consortium conducts art therapy programs to provide skills, fun, confidence building and cameraderie among the patients. Recent workshops have included Painting, drawing, tie-dye, ceramics and jewelry making. CLICK HERE to see recent jewelry and collage making classes and some of the artwork that was created. Sessions are being led by Annette Nakafu, James Nsamba and Hassan Mukiibi.

Tusiime brings his art and skills to an enthusiastic Boston audience
- Miscellaneous
As part of his U.S. tour, Mathias Tusiime visited the Boston art scene hosted by Kisa Foundation Board member Pete Meyer and well known Boston teacher and fabric artist Jackie McRath. Previously, Tusiime spent two weeks at University of Florida for an Arts in Health Care Seminar. From Boston he went to Oakland CA for the opening of an exhibition of his work. In Boston, Tusiime was introduced to art lovers, and held a children's art workshop and a paper making workshop for adults. In photo, Tusiime, right, and Jackie McRath who coordinated the events of the Boston visit.

See photos from Boston activities HERE.

July 2013

New Paintings by James Nsamba
- Miscellaneous
James Nsamba, one of our most dedicated and prolific members has sent us images of nine new paintings. In addition to his own work, James has been active in the new series of workshops with HIV-AIDS patients at Mulago Hospital, and he continues to work with children in the Namungona neighborhood. CLICK HERE to see the new paintings.

Tusiime Show opens in Oakland CA August 2
- Miscellaneous
Mathias Tusiime's second U.S. Exhibition opens in Oakland CA August 2 at Shandravan's Gallery, 2435 Telegraph Ave.. (His first U.S. Show opened with enthusiastic crowds at University of Florida Gallery in Gainesville July 8.) The Exhibition runs through August 30 also includes works by other Uganda Art Consortium artists. An artists reception introducing Tusiime to the Bay Area arts community will be held August 2. On August 3, Tusiime will hold a papermaking workshop and a print making workshop at the gallery. Then its back to D.C. to catch the Qatar Airlines flight back to Entebbe

Over 300 attend opening of Tusiime Exhibition in Florida
- Miscellaneous
Over 300 people attended the opening of Mathias Tusiime's first U.S. Exibition at University of Florida Gallery in Gainesville Fla. The show was so succesfull, it will be held over another week according to Jill Sonke, director of Arts in Health Care at the University. On Tuesday July 8, Tusiime delivered a lecture to over 200 students describing his artistic philosophy and techniques.

Tusiime, the first Uganda Art Consortium member to get a U.S. Visa, arrived in Washington DC July 3 and was greeted at Dulles Airport by Tom Herriman. Tusiime then travelled to Gaineseville where he is attending an intensive seminar on using art in Health Care. After two weeks in Florida, Tusiime will travel to Boston where he will be hosted by Kisa Foundation Board member Pete Meyer and noted art educator Jackie McGrath. Tusiime will have several interviews, workshops and receptions while in Boston. Then its out to Oakland California where an exhibition featuring his work opens August 2.

April 2013

DC Realtor fills his elegant residence with Ugandan art
- Miscellaneous
In January, Washington D.C. real estate broker Steve Pflasterer bought several works by Uganda Art Consortium members to display in his newly remodeled 19th century town house in the Columbia Road neighborhood. Works include paintings by Yusuf Ssali, Kaspa Kasambeko, and Fred Kakinda. He combined these with several woodcuts by Hassan Mukiibi he purchased at our Howard University exhibition in 2010. Click here to see some photos of Pflasterer's recent acquisitions.

March 2013

Uganda Art Consortium Names Advisory Board
- Miscellaneous
We are pleased to announce that Rev. Graylan Hagler, Amy Hagopian, Rosebell Kirungi, Venny Nakazibwe, and Jill Sonke have joined our new Board of Advisors. As Uganda Art Consortium moves into its sixth year of operation, the board will help realize our goal of using art to overcome the impacts of illness and poverty in Uganda.

This Board is made up of folks we have worked with in the past, who have inspired us through their work, and helped us with ours. We’ll frequently turn to them in the future to learn from their ideas and experience. Thanks to all our new Advisory Board members for providing the inspiration and guidance that will help us grow and innovate.

Advisor Biographies

January 2013

Washington DC Exhibition Jan. 23-27
- Miscellaneous
Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Northwest Washington DC has graciously allowed us to stage our first exhibition of 2013 in their community room January 23-27. Plymouth Church shares with Uganda Art Consortium the goal of alleviating the suffering of HIV-AIDS victims. Plymouth's mission statement says, "We live for a world free of HIV&AIDS, void of the stigma associated with the disease and absent any discrimination in prevention, treatment, and care to those affected and infected with the virus."
The Exhibition will feature several works created by patients taking part in our art therapy programs at Mulago Hospital. We'll also have a broad selection of the bright, bold artwork of children from our kids workshops. Plus, we'll have work by the established artists who have donated their time, talent and money to bring art experience to thousands of children and hospital patients in Uganda.

All are invited to our opening reception Jan 23, 5-8 PM.

Exhibition Schedule:
Wednesday January 23, opening reception, 5-8 PM
Thursday Jan. 24 through Saturday Jan. 26, 11 AM to 5 PM
Sunday Jan. 27, 1-5 PM

December 2012

Two members win scholarships to Florida arts program
- Community
Kizito Fred Kakinda and Mathias Tusiime have been awarded full scholarships to 12th Annual Arts in Healthcare Summer Intensive at the University of Florida July 8-19. Jill Sonke, Director of the program said that Kakinda and Tusiime were selected because of their innovation and leadership in Uganda in using arts in health care. Kakinda has been working with HIV Patients and orphans since 2005. Tusiime has developed programs linking art to environmental concerns and recycling as well as health issues. Kakinda and Tusiime were key organizers of the Arts in Health Care Conference held at Makerere University in October 2012.

Uganda Art Consortium Sponsors Arts in Health Care Conference At Makerere U.
- Community
Report By Mathias Tusiime

Over 50 Uganda art teachers and practitioners attended a workshop on Using Arts in Health Care October 5th and 6th, at the Makerere University art Gallery in Kampala. The conference was sponsored jointly by Uganda Art Consortium and the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Art at Makerere University.

Click for more conference photos

The main objective of the consultative workshop was to enable artists who are involved in art and health related issues to come together in a round table to exchange ideas and experiences for using art therapy and teaching as important part of medical care and healing.

The presenters included Dr.Nabulime Lillian, Professor Kwesiga Philip, Mr. Sserunkuuma Bruno, Dr. Nakazibwe Venny, Ms Kekimuli Joan, Mr. James Nsamba, Mr. Fred Kizito Kakinda, Agnes Apio, Kagwa Charles from Nkumba University, Dr.Kizito Kasule from Nagenda International Academy of Arts and Design (NIAAD), Hassan Mukiibi from the UGANDA Arts Consortium and Mr.Banga Simon among others. Several doctors and administrators from Mulago Infectious Disease Institute (IDI) also shared their experiences.

Keynote speaker for the Conference was Jill Sonke, Director of the Center for Arts in Healthcare Research and Education, University of Florida.

My experience during the two-day consultative workshop was one of great respect for the new and interesting ideas and concepts I learned from the presenters.

The turn out of those invited for the works shop was very good, actually it exceeded my expectations. The presentations were engaging, and many presenters used power point and other visual aids.

Much of the material at the conference was focused on orphans and single parent families…the groups in our society with the most serious health challenges. Over 2 million children in Uganda have lost one or both parents. These children and single mothers are usually living in poverty and suffer more than their share of disease due to poor nutrition, unsanitary conditions and lack of preventive care. The conference strengthened my personal goal which is to enrich the lives of these children and their families through art.

Some of the outstanding presentations for me were:

--Simon Banga, who talked about his work in Karamoja, helping young people overcome the traumas from decades of war.

--Dr Lillian Nabulime shared how art can be used as a tool for communication and counseling of HIV patients.

--Dr Apio Agnes explained how art can be used to speed the return-to-health of patients recovering from long illnesses.

--Charles Kagwa described the HIV-AIDS epidemic affecting women in the little fishing villages in Ssese Islands. Dr Kagwa is working to hold workshops in the Islands to help the women without sources of income to gain skills in the production of crafts that could be marketed both at local and international levels. Once these vulnerable women find a more stable source of income then they would not easily seek sexual favors from the fishermen and risk being infected with the HIV virus.

These are just a few of the unique programs going on in Uganda today that were shared at our conference. We have decided to hold a larger, more inclusive conference in 2013 where we will bring arts-in -health practitioners from all over East Africa, to share ideas and experiences in improving health through art.

October 2012

Boston Exhibibition Opening
- Miscellaneous
Our exhibition at the Beautiful Arnheim Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art and Design opened October 10. Recent work from Namungona Children's workshops, and Mulago hospital Art Therapy Sessions as well as work by all Consortium members was on display. About 10 pieces were sold opening night. And the exhibition runs to October 26, so more sales are expected.

Many people helped us in organizing and mounting the show including Pete Meyer, Kathryn Kirschner, Joe Jackson, Veronique-Anne Epiter, Jacqueline L. McRath and Susan G. Thompson.

In the photo, Jacqueline L. McRath, Ron Bayless and Susan G. Thompson.

More Photos Here

September 2012

Namungona studio is humming with activity again
- Miscellaneous
Photo: Hassan Kibenge and his sisters, Sharifah, Miriam, Sharafah and Shamina.

We've rebuilt our tiny studio in Namungona and replaced most of the supplies we lost in the fire. Great Thanks to all our friends who donated to help us recover. The new studio continues to be a magnet for kids in the neighborhood. Hassan Kibenge, a startlingly talented 11 year old has been hanging out at the studio lately and creating landscapes and village scenes with lush acrylic colors, and unique points of view. Last week, he brought his four sisters with him and insisted they join in the jewelry making workshops led by Farouk Mukwaya.

Our Boston Exhibition opens Oct. 10
- Miscellaneous
We're putting on a three week-long art exhibition in Boston October 10 to 27 at the Arnheim gallery at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Opening reception: Wednesday October 10, 5-8PM

The show will feature work by children from our Uganda Workshops, as well as work by our grown-up artists who run the workshops but also would love to sell some of their own work.
Some of our member artists are becoming well-known in Uganda as well as in the U.S. and Europe. They are mostly young and struggling. With this and other exhibitions, we are trying to provide income to artists, and finance our programs of Art Therapy for HIV-AIDS patients, and free children's art workshops in Uganda.
Here's a press release for the show you can download and send to friends and any media you might know of. And here's a street map and a campus map showing the location of the Arnheim Gallery.

August 2012

First Ever Uganda Arts in Health Care Conference set for Makerere U. Oct. 5-6
- Miscellaneous
Ugandan Art Consortium is joining with Makerere University in sponsoring a conference on Using Arts in Health Care October 5-6 at Makerere University in Kampala. Venny Nakazibwe, Dean, Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts will welcome delegates to the conference and introduce the keynote speaker, Jill Sonke, Director, University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine.
Artists, medical providers, academics, health administrators and others working in the field will be invited to participate. Over 200 people are expected to attend. This will be the first-ever nationwide Arts in Health Care Conference to be held in Uganda. The planning committee for the conference issued the following Statement of Purpose for the Conference:

What is Arts in Health Care? A Statement of Purpose

Physical, psychological and emotional health are closely related. Medical experience clearly shows that patients make the greatest progress in recovery from illness and injury when their emotional and psychological needs are also being met. Self-confidence, self-esteem, emotional connection to family and community are vital factors in patients’ well-being. This is especially true is treatment of diseases such as HIV-AIDS where fear, guilt, and social stigma, and despair can weaken the body’s defenses and a person’s will to survive.

Offering a chance to learn and practice artistic skills gives patients a chance to express their feelings, develop and use their inherent talents, and to cooperate with others in a community setting. Combined, these elements can make a substantial contribution to a patient’s self-esteem and will to survive. This more positive mental and emotional framework can foster optimism, determination and a road to recovery.

Music, dance, creative writing, painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, tie-dye, jewelry making are some of the arts that have been used in hospitals, clinics, mental hospitals and community settings to speed patients recovery.

Many of these ideas and programs have been developed by artists moved by compassion to reach out and try to alleviate the suffering of their fellow humans. At the same time, other programs have been developed by medical workers and administrators in the search for more effective medical treatment.

Now for the first time in Uganda, we are calling together the artists, doctors, nurses, administrators and educators in this field to come together and share their ideas and experiences. This conference can help spread the use of Art in Health Care, and make it more effective and accepted as a standard part of medical treatment.

By bringing together hundreds of practitioners we can find the best ideas, the most effective programs, and the innovations we seek to constantly improve ability of patients to survive and recover from illness.

Bead Making Workshop at KIFAD
- Miscellaneous
We held a two-day bead-making and painting workshop for about 75 young people at Kiyita Family Alliance (KIFAD) in Nansana August 23-24. James Nsamba, Farouk Mukwaya and Peter Kalyongo were the teachers. The colorful beads are made from narrow strips cut from pages of discarded magazines. The strips are rolled up, then glued and varnished. Glue can be made from banana skins. The kids also created a large acrylic-on-canvas painting. In the photo, Farouk Mukwaya is demonstrating the basic techniques.

More Photos Here

July 2012

Kids artwork helps fight malaria
- Miscellaneous
From James “Big Jim” Nsamba:

Workshops at Kidawalime Preparatory School in Namungoona started on 12 July. We hold workshops every Saturday at 2pm. Over 150 children attend each workshop.

We are basically aiming at teaching children how to recycle scrap material from the environment and use it to make art. We make colorful beads from pages of old magazines, and bracelets and bangles from plastic trash that have been thrown away.

We’re helping to stop malaria by collecting this plastic junk, because mosquitoes breed in stagnant water that collects in these discarded plastic bottles and other containers. So at the same time we teach about art concepts and materials, we’re teaching the children about staying healthy and making a cleaner environment.

Several of the children are working on a big mural entitled "A Clean Environment Helps Stop Malaria”.

Artists James Nsamba, Farouk Mukwaya, Peter Kalyongo, Chaz Mbazira and Hassan Mukiibi are teaching the children in the workshops.

The children love the workshops and the chance to express themselves. Attendance has been very impressive.

In the photo, Farouk Mukwaya teaches children how to make colorful beads from pages of old magazines.

May 2012

Fire destroys Uganda Art Consortium Studio in Namungona
- Miscellaneous
A disastrous fire swept through Uganda Art Consortium studios in Namungona in the middle of the night May 4, destroying dozens of artworks and hundreds of dollars in supplies destined for children's art workshops conducted by James Nsamba and Farouk Mukwaya. No one was injured, but the small wooden metal-roofed building was completely destroyed, and nothing could be salvaged from the ashes. In the photo at left, James Nsamba (in white hat) sits disconsolately amidst the ashes. More photos of the fire here.

The building was also the home of Universal Designs, the commercial art firm operated by Nsamba and Mukwaya who are now without the means to make a living. No one could say how the fire started. But in the crowded lanes of Namungona open cooking fires, trash fires, charcoal burners and kerosene lamps are constant hazards, and accidental fires are frequent. In Namungona, the fire department normally arrives too late, if at all.

Please help us rebuild

James and Farouk will need at least US$2500 to rebuild the studio, replace the lost art materials, and continue our services to children in the Namungona area. Your contribution is tax-deductible in the USA. Please send an instant gift, or send a check to Kisa Foundation USA, 400 Whittier St NW, Washington DC 20012.

New workshops for over 200 children start at God is With Us Primary School
- Miscellaneous
Over two hundred children at God is With us Primary School in Namungona have been enjoying bead making and jewelry making workshops held by Uganda Art Consortium.

James Nsamba and Farouk Mukwaya have been the teachers. Painting and drawing classes are also provided. The workshops were started March 21, and will continue until mid-May

April 2012

Tusiime Exhibition Opens in Makerere U. Gallery
- Miscellaneous
A show of new work by Mathias Tusiime opened April 27 at Makerere University Art Gallery in Kampala. As part of the exhibition, Tusiime will also demonstrate his technique for paper-making made from recycled material including paper, banana fiber, grass and straw. This is Tusiime's second exhibition at Makerere in two years.

February 2012

Art Lover Loves Mbaziira's Banana Fiber Work
- Miscellaneous
We received this fan letter from Carol Driscoll, a visitor to the Ugandart Exhibition at Empire State College in New York:

Dear Ugandart: Last week Harry my husband and a friend who is an anthropologist with a love for African art saw the wonderful exhibition "Fabric of Life." at Empire State College.
We were much stirred by all the work, and very much so by the pieces by Charles Mbaziira. That he had the artistic drive and imagination to work with banana fiber and create the graceful, exquisite work we saw....we found thrilling, and each of us will never forget the experience. Congratulations to Charles and to Uganda Online Art Consortium for putting on this show.

December 2011

Dutch video captures artists at work
- Miscellaneous
Dutch videographer Sammie van Dorp produced a new video featuring several Uganda Art Consortium members on his recent trip to Kampala. Van Dorp filmed Yusuf Ssali, Paul Kasambeko and Hassan Mukiibi in their new studio space, called "Studio 256" on Apollo Kagwa Rd. near Makerere University.

Watch Video

New pix from December 2011 Kids Art Workshops
- Miscellaneous
Children's art workshops continued through December at the Namungona studio of James Nsamba and Farouk Mukwaya (photo) and at Sanyuko Children's Ministry. James sent a new batch of photos from recent workshops in that show the enormous enthusiasm and creativity of the childrens' artistic efforts.

New York Show Opens for Six-week Run
- Miscellaneous
Our winter Ugandart show "Fabric of Life" has opened at New York City's Empire State College. We're happy to present a few images from the event. The show continues through January 29. For more details see the photos linked below or click the announcement on our home page.

See the event

November 2011

Massai children illustrate a book showing their community's uses of medicine
- Miscellaneous
By Steven Heller, Imprint

Children of Il Polei Primary School in Kenya have illustrated a book describing the traditional use of plants for medicine in their Massai community of the Mukogodo region. The traditional use of plants as medicines is of great value to the Massai people.
The children of Il Polei Primary School have made these paintings to share their elders’ knowledge. The book will include images of the children along with their words and spaces for each child to make their own notes about plants. The books will be distributed to children and teachers in the region’s primary schools. The project will empower the region’s children with pride and investment in the biodiversity manifested in their backyards, and help forestall further environmental degradation.

The Mukogodo region of Kenya has undergone both rapid ecological and cultural degradation. A severe drought in 2009 wiped out 90 percent of the pastoralist community’s wealth — their cattle and goats. Much of the region’s indigenous knowledge is at risk of being lost as these children face a more difficult and different world than their parents knew. The need for conservation, conservation education, and local empowerment in Kenya is extreme. The Mukogodo region is a vital focus point of the ACF’s conservation work.

Copies of the Olcani booklet, featuring the photos below and more, are $10 from Deborah Ross (

Read the full article in Salon

NYC Exhibition Opens December 9 at Empire State College
- Miscellaneous
Uganda Art Consortium's first show in New York City opens December 9 at Empire State College, 325 Hudson street in Manhattan. The show will run through Jan. 29. An Opening reception will be held 5-8pm on Friday December 9. The show will feature works by several of UAC's established artists as well as a special section showing works of children from or Free Children's Art Workshops in Namungona. The poster for the show features a painting "Dancers IV" by 12-year old Catherine Namakula.


October 2011

Two in One: Showcasing Beauty and Music
- Commentary
Wh-arts New in Kampala, By MOSES KIGANDA. An occasional Column by Moses Kiganda (exclusive to bringing you new and interesting developments in Uganda's contemporary art scene.

Inside the spacious art gallery at National Theatre, Weazher, a young artist, guides me through the paintings on display. We pause before another of his colorful pieces. Others can I can, the title tag reads. The canvas, painted in vivid shades of blue, depicts two apes, one of which blows a horn while its companion in the background munches berries and seems to enjoy the tune. I study the painting in puzzlement. As if reading my mind, my guide chuckles and comments that even animals, like humans, have a sense of music too. With a more serious tone, he further explains the mysterious piece, “Nature is part of beauty. And gorillas are part of nature.”

Richard “Weazher” Mayanja is October’s artist of the month. Dressed smartly in white long sleeves and black pants, the short, bearded young artist carries a humble demeanor that completely belies his abilities. With a total of more than four art exhibitions in his short career, Weazher is no ordinary artist.

As we proceed along the canvas-hung walls, I discover that nearly all of his artworks have an element of music or nature. Two or three paintings, for instance, show still-life collections of traditional musical instruments. In one corner, a solitary portrait of Bob Marley, his work too, stares sideways at yet another abstract creation titled “Fish.” The theme of Weazher’s exhibition, “Beauty in Music,” has been well-portrayed in these colorful twenty-or-so images. The exhibition runs from 15 October to 6 November 2011.

The artist studied art at Michelangelo School of Creative Arts and attained a diploma in Art and Design in 2008. Currently he is pursuing a degree in art and industrial design at Kyambogo University Kampala.
Asked when he first discovered the talent in him, Weazher proudly reminisces, “At about the age of six. During art lessons at school, I loved molding with clay and drawing and shading with colored pencils.”

But visual art isn’t Weazher’s only passion. During our interview, a group of five or six youths carrying guitars storm the gallery and accost us. Weazher introduces them as “The Hydrobase,” his music band. Time for practice, a tall dreadlocked feller reminds him. The artist borrows the boy’s guitar and asks them to wait outside for five minutes, we won’t be long. Reposing the acoustic skillfully on his lap, he plucks a familiar tune. I am enthralled. He plays for twenty seconds, with such passion he seems momentarily oblivious to my presence. Stopping abruptly, he apologises. But I have made another discovery: Weazher doesn’t just paint music, he plays it too!

“Where did you learn to play?” I ask.

“At music school,” he discloses in his humble manner. “Before I went to Michelangelo. I have a diploma in music.” He adds that he has worked with different NGOs in Uganda as a director of performing arts. “My skills at playing various musical instruments have made me a complete artist,” he boasts. “Or artist-artist, as my friends like to call me.”

Among other exhibitions, Weazher has participated in the International Women Organisation Christmas exhibition (2009) and, in the same year, the Independence Day exhibition at Nommo Gallery. Last year, his work featured in the All Artists Exhibition and again at the 49th Independence Day exhibition, both of them held at Nommo. He hopes to participate in this year’s exhibition too. In May 2010, he held a solo academic exhibition at Kyambogo University. This month, prior to the CAF Qualifiers match between Uganda and Kenya, Weazher took part in the “Together for Cranes” exhibition at Nambole National Stadium. The price of his work is quite affordable, ranging from 75 to 300 US Dollars.

About his future plans, Weazher reveals that he is experimenting with a new style of art. Because of his love for the preservation of nature, this novel technique dubbed “functional sculpture” seeks to utilize plastic waste. Bottles of mineral water and polythene bags, he says, can make functional sculpture in the form of fountains, outdoor seats, lamp posts etc. Also he plans on a grand exhibition next year, to be combined with a music launch.

As the interview is concluded his time-conscious troupe materializes again. He is whisked away, barely allowing us to say farewells.

See an album of Weazher's paintings

Tusiime Winning Wide Recognition in Uganda
- Miscellaneous
Mathias Tusiime has become a familiar face all over Uganda following an outpouring of media attention to his work in print, On TV and in the galleries. Following his successful Kololo exhibition in April, he was featured in a two-page spread in the first issue of BLACK FLAVOR, a new glossy “lifestyle” magazine published by Uganda Broadcast Corporation. Later, he was interviewed on the UBC TV show Uganda Today and an exhibition of his work opened at Alliance Francais gallery in Kampala October 18. Alliance Francais published a full color brochure for the exhibition.
Tusiime is a self taught-artist who works as a grounds-keeper at Makerere university.. He has struggled over the last 10 years to win attention from critics and the public. But his unique art which combines traditional and modern motifs is now winning widespread recognition. Not least, by his use of hand crafted papers made from recycled materials, he is recognized as one of the most ecologically conscious artists working in Uganda today.

Georgetown University Children's art exhibition
- Miscellaneous
Watch Video
Uganda Art Consortium, in cooperation with the Art in Kibera Project, held an exhibition of children's art work from Kenya and Uganda at Georgetown University in Washington DC Sept. 28-Oct. 4.

The show featured over 40 works created by children in free children's art workshops in Namungona, and the art in Kibera project in Nairobi, Kenya.
Uganda Art Consortium's Namungona workshops were conducted by James Nsamba and Farouk Mukwaya.

UAC Artists Invade Kenya
- Miscellaneous

Ssali Yusuf, Kaspa Kasambeko and Hassan Mukiibi made a big splash In Kenya when their work was shown at Watatu gallery in Nairobi.

September 2011

New YouTube video of kids creating art in Uganda workshps
- Miscellaneous
A new video with an assortment of photos from several different Uganda Art Consortium kids workshops is now available on YouTube. The video shows dozens of children painting drawing and making beadwork jewelry in Uganda Art Consortium workshops at Kis Primary School, Evans Primary School and Sanyuko Children's Ministry. Click Here to view the video.

Georgetown University Show Opens Sept. 28
- Miscellaneous
Uganda Art Consortium has joined with the Art in Kibera Project to host an exhibition of art by Ugandan and Kenyan children. Georgetown Associate Vice President Charles De Santis and Margaret Halpin, Dean in the School of Foreign Service conduct art classes for children every summer in the Art in Kibera program in Nairobi Kenya. From Uganda, artwork from UAC's free kids art workshops at Sanyuko Ministries will also be on display. The exhibition will be open Sept. 29th-30th and October 3rd-4th from 9AM to 9 PM. The show which is in the Intercultural Center Galleria is sponsored by the Georgetown African Interests Network, which will hold a reception Sept. 28 to open the exhibition and celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the group.

Photography: The Kaddu Wasswa Archive
- Miscellaneous
Kaddu Wasswa played an important role in his community as a teacher and social worker. What is exceptional about the 77-year-old Wasswa is that he has always documented his activities in writing and in photographs. The archive, started during the period when Uganda was seeking independence from Great Britain, presents a fascinating view of Uganda during its first fifty years of independence, which will be commemorated in 2012. The Kaddu Wasswa Archive preserves the history of a man and tells the story of a country.

August 2011

Yusuf Ssali Joins Ugandart Roster
- Miscellaneous
Yusuf Ssali was born in 1983 at Kireka - Bweyogerere in Wakiso district of Uganda. He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial and fine arts from Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, and a Certificate in Internet Technology from Camara Education in Dublin Ireland.

"I started painting from 2003 and I learned from many different Ugandan artists that I admired and that I worked with. I mainly work in oil and acrylic on canvas, bark-cloth and paper. One of my main sources of inspiration is the day to day work and social activities of African women. I am also intrigued by birds, fish, butterflies landscapes and their significance in traditional African Culture.

"I joined Uganda Art Consortium as a way to help those with HIV-AIDS and other life threatening illnesses. I want to use my art to relax their minds and drive them away from stress and thoughts of death. I want the patients to know they are not abandoned, that they still have a chance to live a good life."

Between 2003 and the present Ssali has taken part in over 100 solo exhibitions, group shows, art fairs and other art events in Africa and Europe. His works have been shown at Makerere University Art Gallery, Diani Art Gallery, Mombasa, Kenya; Afriart Gallery, Kamokya, Uganda; Aid Child Gallery, Kayabwe, Uganda; Watatu Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya; Ramoma Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya.

He is a member of Uganda Artists Association, Uganda German Culture Society and the Butterfly Project in Uganda working with deprived school children.

View works by Yusuf Ssali.

Exciting new artist joins Uganda Art Consortium
- Miscellaneous
Kaspa is a nickname and trademark for Paul Kasambeko who was born in Jinja District in Uganda in 1980. In his painting, Kaspa combines a deep love of traditional African themes with a lively, inventive eye for abstraction. His paintings seem modern and traditional at the same time.

Kaspa describes the evolution of his art as "a long time dream since child hood. I pursued a Bachelors Degree in Industrial and Fine Arts Makerere University Kampala, Uganda 2004. Professionally I began in 2003 and I have been involved in so many Art Exhibitions in Uganda and East Africa at large and in Holland. My Art is an inner reflection of me intended to create an outstanding impact onto the public especially in their day today life. Art is therapy. It is something that has to do with feeling and emotions. So it is meant to calm you down.

"My subjects have always been from my life experiences, day today activities, landscapes and seascapes, people, their cultures and norms. I use oils and acrylics, waters colors, collage, sisal and bark cloth and other found objects. My works are abstract and semi- abstract, impressionistic and figurative in Nature."

View works by Paul Kasambeko

June 2011

Namungona kids show off their artwork
- Miscellaneous
On June 18, over thirty children at Uganda Art Consortium’s latest workshop at Sanyuka Children’s Ministry showed off a wide variety of styles and skills in oil paintings. Several children have completed 4 or 5 paintings, while some are still finishing their first acrylic-on-canvas work. Included in the display are two large (3 feet x 4 feet) canvases. Over two dozen children worked on these large paintings together, each adding their individual ideas to a harmonized final result. While schools are in session, the workshop meets only on Saturday. During school holidays, the group meets three times weekly. The painting side is conducted by James Nsamba. Farouk Mukwaya runs the necklace and bracelet group.

May 2011

Newly discovered talented 12 year-old artist
- Miscellaneous
Our children’s art project in Namungona has identified several promising young artists. The Namungona workshop takes place every Wednesday and Friday from 3-7 pm at the Sanyuka Childrens Ministry, a refuge for orphans and abandoned children.
Kids starting the workshop are first introduced to beading and jewelry making, then are allowed to start drawing and painting if they’re interested. The children have a chance to earn a few shillings income by selling bracelets and necklaces on the street. Some of the jewelry is made from paper beads, made from color magazine pages. Other items use glass beads and wire.

In the painting class, 12 year old Catherine Namakula has become a prodigy. Catherine says her uncle taught her to do art, so she was ready to progress quickly when she started in the workshop. She showed a quick understanding of color and brush technique, and a good eye for perspective and the human form.

Catherine lives with her mother, Prossy Nakazi and her two brothers Mike, 8, and Gerald, 3 in a one room house in Namungona. Prossy is not employed, and depends on help from relatives to provide for her children. She encourages Catherine in her ambition to be a doctor.
Several of Catherine's recent paintings are for sale in the gallery. More pictures Here.

April 2011

Kids Art Workshop in Nansana
- Miscellaneous
James Nsamba and Farouk Mukwaya report they held another free children's art workshop in April at Kisa Primary School in Nansana. Dozens on kids from the neighborhood attended, as well as Kisa students. The focus was on oil painting. Two large canvases and several smaller individual paintings were completed.

More Photos from Kids Art Workshop

April 8 art show adds funding to projects
- Miscellaneous
The 2011 Uganda Art Consortium Exhibition held April 8 -10 in Washington DC was declared a success by its organizers. Over 70 paintings and prints including many created in 2010 were included in the show.

Proceeds from the sale of artwork are used to provide art therapy for HIV-AIDS patients and free childrens art workshops in Uganda. The Exhibition is part of Takoma Art Hop, a three day art festival including over 40 artists exhibiting in local galleries, stores and businesses. Uganda Art Consortium is a project of Kisa Foundation USA.

Mukiibi work featured in Baton Rouge show
- Miscellaneous
"Boda Boda", a recent painting by Hassan Mukiibi is featured in an exhibition at the Southern University Museum in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA. The painting is part of the private collection owned by local businessman Greg Spann. Spann became acquainted with Mukiibi and his work while on a recent trip to Uganda. The show runs through May 31. Read a review of the show here.

March 2011

Ugandan Orphans Choir in Seattle for Performance
- Miscellaneous
Ugandan Orphans' Choir will perform at 6:30 p.m., Friday, April 1, 2011, at Mount Zion Baptist Church - 1634 19th Avenue, Seattle 98122.

Several Mount Zion members are serving as host families for the children and chaperones. Contact Dr. Lora-Ellen McKinney at Mount Zion for more information.

Tusiime's new Kampala Exhibition Featured in New Vision Newspaper
- Miscellaneous
"AGAINST all odds, Mathias Tusiime has managed to elevate himself to the heights of one of the most sought after artists...(he) has established a niche for himself as an artist who paints on his hand-made canvas made out of recycled waste material picked from the faculty’s compound." ---from an article by Dominic Muwanguzi published in New Vision, March 3, 2011.

Read the complete article

DC Exhibition Opens April 8, but artists face visa troubles
- Miscellaneous

Uganda Art Consortium's 2011 art exhibition opens April 8 at Electric Maid Community Exchange, 268 Carroll Street Northwest
in the Takoma Park neighborhood of Washington D.C.

The show will feature over 70 new paintings and prints by UAC artists including paintings and prints by Hassan Mukiibi, Kizito Fred Kakinda, Charles Mbaziira, Mathias Tusiime, James Nsamba, Ivan Muganga, Moses Kiganda, Mulago Hospital HIV-AIDS Patients and the Children of Kisa Primary School.

The opening reception will be held Friday April 8, 5-8 pm. The show will be open 10-5pm Saturday April 9 and noon-5pm Sunday April 10. Call Tom Herriman, (206) 353-5978 for more information.

Two of the artists were invited by Kisa Foundation, the University of Florida and the University of Maryland to travel to the U.S. during the exhibition. One of them, Hassan Mukiibi has already been denied a visa for the trip. Mathias Tusiime is still waiting to hear if his application has been approved. It is notoriously difficult these days for foreign citizens to get visas to visit the U.S. Our State Department assumes that most visa applicants are just planning to illegally over-stay their visas. It is up to the applicant to prove that they intend to go back home when the visa expires.

December 2010

Tusiime Painting Chosen for Magazine Cover
- Miscellaneous
One of Mathias Tusiime's recent artworks has been chosen for the cover illustration of a New York literary magazine. FULL STORY

Child Art Workshops Expand Horizons
- Miscellaneous
James Nsamba contributed this "Report on Childrens' Art Workshops held at Kisa Primary School, Nansana, Uganda" July 17th to August 14th, 2010. The programs were sponsored by Uganda Art Consortium and Kisa Foundation USA. The teachers were James Nsamba and Mukwaya Farouk.

We worked with the children of Kisa Primary School every Saturday afternoon and here we created a large painting entitled �How I Understand Art�. About 20 children worked on this large canvas. In this workshop kids also managed to make personal paintings, drawings and beaded work. Some of the Kisa kids have continued to visit us in our Namungona workshop where they are always welcome, and have a chance to continue to work on projects.

Some of the children had attended our previous workshops, and they already had some good skills. So we used them as assistant teachers. They work one-on-one with newer kids, helping them to develop their skills. acquired some the skills and ideas from our previous workshops and now they have some knowledge in Jewelry making and color mix and use. Our teaching assistants at Kisa were Bogere Fahad, Namakula Catherine, and Kiggundu Joseph.

On the first day we stretched the canvases with the kids and we had a small discussion about the meaning and importance of art in everyday life. We assigned each child a topic for a painting and told them to come back with a drawing on paper of what they wanted to paint on canvas.
In the following days kids came with their drawings on papers we provided them of which they transferred to the bigger canvas which was available for that purpose.

At first some kids were asking some question e.g.
* What can I draw?
* What color should I use?
* How do we make the bang?
* How do we select the colors for Jewelry
* Can I take some beads with me at home?
* May I come with a friend next time?

The attendance of the kids was impressive. On the first day we had about 20 kids and end of the 6 sessions we had over 50 kids. Some unlucky ones only attended the last day of the workshop.
Some Kisa School teachers came and watched the classes and had some good comments on their pupils� works and also what we were doing. They wanted to know when we would be coming back.
Several of the kids were naturally talented in art, and caught on very fast to techniques and materials. Others had to be coached and guided, but also produced beautiful art works.


Cost of materials for the six week project was $205.81. This was provided by Kisa Foundation USA from the sale of artwork by members of the Uganda Art Consortium. Teachers volunteered their time, but were reimbursed for transportation cost.

A Few Problems

We have struggled with a few problems in holding our workshops. 1. there is no time during the school day to hold art workshops, so we work mainly on weekends. But many schoolchildren have substantial homework, and this limits their time they can attend. 2. Its also a problem finding free space for our workshops. We depend on local schools to let us use their classrooms during non-school time, but not all schools are convinced to do this. We also have frequent shortages of materials...especially when the attendance grows day by day, and we end up with more children than we planned for. We never want to turn a child away. Weather can be a problem, because we like to hold many of our classes out doors. And our teachers are learning kids are not such people to handle easy so disturbance is always there due to their energy, competitive spirit and high energy.

We are hoping to develop enough resources that we can do follow-ups with some of the really interested kids. We also want to hold further workshops here and in other areas. In future workshops we also want to add sessions on music, poetry, dance, games.

Future Programs

But we want to continue this effort because we think our workshops give children the chance to express themselves, to appreciate the beauty in every day life, to communicate ideas and feelings, and to re their ideas and their vision with others.

So we are planning to continue and expand our childrens' art workshops.

We'd like to hold exhibitions of the children's work, so the community learns about our project and will come to support it. And we're looking for partners...other organizations concerned with disadvantaged children...and private companies who would support us in our work. We plan look at ways of encouraging different companies and individuals to join hands with us continue and expand our work.

November 2010

Ugandart 2011 Calendar Available
- Miscellaneous
Make your plans for 2011 with Uganda Art Consortium's new calendar, featuring new images twelve recent works by Ugandart members.

Order ON LINE or mail a check to Kisa Foundation USA 400 Whittier St. NW, Washington DC 20012.

Ideal Holiday Gift: Order three or more to the same address and receive 20% off plus just one $5 S&H fee.(By Mail Only).

September 2010

UGPULSE reports on Uganda Art Consortium
- Miscellaneous, an East Africa news website, has a story on Uganda Art Consortium recent UAC activities including kids workshops and ceramics classes for HIV-AIDS patients at Mulago hospital. The story has photos of some recent art work produced by children and photos of some of the kids hard at work on their masterpieces.CLICK HERE to read their coverage.

Bold Strokes, Big Canvas
- Miscellaneous
Children in our August art workshop in Nansana Uganda created this striking oil painting on the theme of "Ideas that Shape Our Lives". The painting is 5 feet wide and 3 feet high. Over 25 kids painted some part of the canvas and signed their names. The workshop was conducted by UAC members James Nsamba and Farouk Mukwaya.

UNAA Convention
- Miscellaneous
Uganda Art Consortium attended the Uganda North American Association Convention in Washington DC September 5 & 6. On display were oil paintings by children at Kisa School Free Art Workshop, and new works by Charles Mbaziira, Kizito Fred Kakinda, Mathias Tiusiime, James Nsamba and Hassan Mukiibi. Our display attracted the attention of many of the delegates. In the photo are Tom Herriman and Llwanga Llwanga one of the founders of Kisa Foundation USA.

August 2010

Kids' Workshops at Kisa Primary School
- Miscellaneous
Dozens of children have been getting lessons in painting and jewelry making in Workshops we have been holding at Kisa Primary School in Nansana. These workshops and others like them are financed by sales of artwork from this website, and from recent exhibitions in Seattle and Washington DC. Some of the kids' artworks is being shipped to the U.S. and will be available for viewing and purchase on our website. James Nsamba and Farouk Mukwaya conducted the Kisa workshops.

Mulago Workshops
- Miscellaneous
We have been holding art therapy sessions in painting, ceramics and other media for patients at Mulago hospital all summer. UAC artists Hassan Mukiibi, Mathias Tusiime, Fred Kakinda and other volunteers from Makerere art department provide the teaching. Sales of artwork from our website and exhibitions pay for the paint, clay, cloth and other materials and the transportation costs for these sessions. In the photo, Hassan Mukiibi coaches a patient who has created brilliantly colored ceramic pieces.

July 2010

Potrait of the Kabaka
- Miscellaneous
Intriguing portrait of Ronald Frederick Muwenda Mutebi II, the Kabaka of Buganda. The artist is Charles Mbaziira, a talented 17 year old secondary school student in Masaka. The image is created with hundreds of tiny pieces of banana fiber, glued on a plywood backing.

Click here for details.

June 2010

Tusiime Exhibit Opens in Kampala Gallery
- Miscellaneous
An exhibition of paintings by UAC artist-member Mathias Tusiime was held during the month on May at Makerere University Art Gallery. The show was widely reviewed including feature articles in Monitor and New Vision, Uganda's two leading daily papers. Tusiime is the first artist who was not either a student or faculty member at the Makerere University. Tusiime is a self-taught artist employed at the campus as a groundskeeper.

Download Catalog for the Show.

April 2010

New Items in Our Catalog: Jewelry
- Miscellaneous
Copper and bead jewelry designed by artists in our Namungona group. $25

New Items in Our Catalog: Oil Painting
- Miscellaneous

"Co-Wives" a new work by Hassan Mukiibi, oil on canvas, 18" x 24", $600.

New Items in Our Catalog: Fabric
- Miscellaneous

Hand printed cotton fabric with unique, traditional designs. Each piece 144" x 48" (about 6 yds). $100

Click to see details in catalog

March 2010

DC Exhibition Surpassed Expectations
- Miscellaneous
Our Exhibit at Howard University in February brought in nearly $5000 which will ensure the continuation and expansion of art therapy for HIV-AIDS patients and workshops for children in Uganda in the coming year. Over 250 visitors saw the show and bought more than 40 of the art works by 6 different artists. Many thanks to the Howard University African Students Association for sponsoring the show, helping to hang it and staffing the galleries. Among those who contributed greatly to the success were Howard U. Students Cindy Unegbu, Musleehat Hamadu, Nnenne Okorafor, (in photo) Chris Daniels and Peter Kibanyi. Others who made invaluable contributions were Katherine Southwick, Sandy Barkan, Mimi Wolford, Steve Pflasterer and radio station WPFW.

November 2009

Watch Video of Kids Art Workshop in Uganda
- Miscellaneous
Uganda Art Consortium recently sponsored an exploration of art for local children in Namungona. The kids learned drawing and jewelry making and created a large oil-on-canvas mural.

June 2009

Ugandan Art Wows Seattle
- Miscellaneous
The Seattle exhibit of Ugandan art at the Ballard Bookcase Gallery May 8-10 drew over 100 art connissieurs who purchased 25 artworks and dozens of jewelry items. The oil paintings, woodcuts and watercolors by members of the Uganda Art Consortium prints represented a wide variety of styles and personalities in the contemporary Ugandan art scene. Proceeds form the sales will be used to conduct art classes for orphans and poor children in Uganda, and to provide art therapy and art instruction for AIDS victims and other patients at The Infectious Diseases Institute at Mulago Hospital in Kampala Uganda. A second U.S. exhibition is planned for December in Washington D.C.

More Photos from Seattle Art Exhibit

March 2009

Ugandan Art Show in Seattle May 8, 9 and 10
- Miscellaneous
A major exhibit of new works by eight contemporary Ugandan artists will be held May 8, 9 and 10 at the Ballard Bookcase Gallery, 4611 11th Avenue NW in Seattle.

Proceeds from sales will support art classes and workshops in Uganda for AIDS patients and AIDS orphans, street children, and children and adult hospital patients.

Children are also trained in making beaded bracelets, necklaces and other jewelry they sell on the street to raise money for school fees, and buy food for their families.

Over 100 oil paintings, watercolors, wood block prints and other works will be displayed and available for purchase. Prices range from $45 for some 8x10 watercolors, to $250 for large oil paintings.

The exhibit will be the largest show by Ugandan artists ever held in the U.S.

Several artists in the show including Matias Tusime, Hassan Mukiibi and Kizito Fred Kakinda are well known to galleries and art collectors in Africa and Europe. But this will be the first exposure outside Uganda for others in the group including James Nsamba, Kennedy Baguma and Hadson Mbabazi..

The Uganda Art Consortium and its website were established in 2008 by Seattle area residents Tom Herriman and Rees Clark to support the charitable work of the Ugandan artists, and provide a way for them to market their artwork.

A reception will be held to open the show, 5-7 PM on May 8. Hours for the rest of the weekend are
Noon-9PM on Saturday May 9 and Noon-5PM on Sunday May 10.

The Uganda Art Consortium show is part of Ballard Second Saturday Art Walk.

Tom Herriman, (206) 353-5978, Http://

Several works on display at Seattle Restaurant
- Miscellaneous

Several works by members of the Uganda Art Consortium are on display at A Caprice Kitchen, 1418 NW 70th in Seattle. Owner and Chef Anne Catherine Kruger has generously made space available to hang 14 paintings, prints, and silkscreens. The artworks will be on display until April 15.

February 2009

Big Exhibit and Sale of Uganda Artwork in Seattle May 8, 9, 10 2009
- Miscellaneous

Over 100 works by members of Uganda Art Consortium will be on display May 8, 9 and 10 in the largest exhibit and sale of Ugandan art ever held in the U.S. The show is part of the Ballard May 2009 Artwalk. Works include oil paintings, wood block prints, vat dye paintings, silk screen prints and other media. Beadwork jewelry produced by children in UAC's free workshops for AIDS patients and orphans will also be on sale. Artists included in the show include Kizito Fred Kakinda, James Nsamba, Kennedy Baguma, Matias Tusime, Hassan Mikiibi, and Hadson Mbabazi.

The exhibition will be held at the Ballard Bookcase Gallery, 4611 11th Ave. NW Seattle, WA 98107. For information about the show, contact Tom Herriman, 206-353-5978.

Our Artists on Display at Haverstraw, NY Gallery in February 2009
- Miscellaneous

Several works by members of the Uganda Art Consortium are on display at the Arts Alliance of Haverstraw New York Gallery during the month of February 2009. Works include vat dye paintings on paper by Kennedy Baguma and works by Matias Tusime including paintings and wood block prints on hand made paper. The exhibition is a presentation of the Uganda Healing Project and a celebration of Black History Month.

Arts Alliance of Haverstraw New York

March 2008

Ugandart Members' Works Lost as Fire Destroys Namungona Studio
- Miscellaneous
Dandaloo recording studio in Namungona, home of the Uganda Cultural Troupe was destroyed by fire March 1. Jeffrey Ddongo, head of Dandaloo was sitting in his car outside the studio at 11PM when he said the studio exploded in flames. The space was completely incinerated within 10 minutes, he said.

Universal Designs Artists and Artwork in the same building was severely damaged by water and smoke. Several months of work by 7 artists including dozens of paintings, carving and jewelry pieces were destroyed. James Nsamba, Director of Universal Designs said the artists’ consortium would begin immediately to restore their workspace and produce new artwork to replace the work that was destroyed. All of the 30 or so items listed on the website were destroyed.

Ugandart's web hosts and sponsors are continuing support for the consortium. Donations toward restoration of this vital workspace are very much appreciated.

Complete Coverage by Tom Herriman

Artists, albums, catalog cross-referenced at Ugandart
- Miscellaneous
We have recently completed installation of the Ugandart catalog, which functions under the Gallery. Items in the Gallery are cross-referenced with the artists in the directory.

To go to the artist's information from an art page in the Gallery, click the Artist Profile link (may appear as artist's name). To see a list of an artist's work, find the artist in the Artists directory, and then click the Gallery Search link.

Our projected official catalog launch date is now March 17, but wise readers may wish to slip past the curtain for a preview (not that we could want you to buy anything right now before the prices rise).

February 2008

Forums Open for Business, or at least Commentary
- Miscellaneous
We've added member forums to the site. Registered users can hold forth on the Uganda and regional art scene.

The purpose of the Forums is to discuss art and its role in society. We're fairly certain our readers are not interested in your latest conspiracy theory. Let's stay on topic and support one another.

The Forums

December 2007

Cousins share artistic outlook
- Miscellaneous
Ivan Muganga and Moses and Jimmy Kiganda are cousins who have been studying art at Makerere university in Kampala. Now near graduation, they are looking for ways to generate income from their passions for art, and to display their works to the world. Their paintings are based on traditional African themes, but are executed with modern sensibilties and techniques. Moses Kiganda has also written a novel, Crimson Mounds, based on the 20-year long war of rebellion in Northern Uganda. Read an excerpt from Crimson Mounds here.

Universal Designs: Art and Advocacy
- Miscellaneous
Universal Designs: Artists and Artworks is a group of five young Ugandan artists. Farouk Mukwaya, Kennedy Baguma, Peter Karyango, Allan Nakalisa and James Nsamba work out of a tiny studio in the Kasubi neighborhood of Kampala.

The group supports itself with commercial art such as sign lettering and house painting. Members of the collective pool their money to buy art supplies for themselves, and to use in their efforts to recruit street kids into learning and producing beaded jewelry and other handicrafts.

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