|This is talented and dedicated Agness Buya, who has made art, apprenticeships, and education at the core of her very existence. We were honored to have met her and for the time she took sharing this cultural center with the two of us. Agness created this magnificent creation using tea bags!|
“Sighting of the Day in Zambia”
|Work and providing for one’s family is a part of the marriage commitment ceremony. This statue and other’s similar to this, bear no arms and legs, indicating there’s no place for “lazy” individuals who refuse to work.|
Today and tomorrow we’ll be sharing photos of a fabulous cultural experience from yesterday’s tour of the city of Livingstone, Zambia. The highlight of our day was our private tour of WayiWayi Art Studio and Gallery.
|The dirt road to the WayiWayi Art Studio and Gallery.|
When one is on holiday in a tourist town with the intent of visiting an art gallery what visions come to mind? The glass storefront, a pristine and impeccable decor allowing for highlighting the art as opposed to the facility itself?
|The sign upon entry onto the grounds.|
One envisions expensive art offering including paintings with a wide array of techniques and styles, sculptures, glassworks and a plethora of handmade creative wall, floor, and table pieces, each stunning, pricey and unique.
|This building serves as both an art center and residence for owner/manager Agness and her artist husband Lawrence. Sharing art with their community is truly the essence of their lives.|
Well, dear readers, one may find such places in many tourist locations throughout the world, but not here in Livingstone, Zambia. Throughout our almost six years of non-stop world travel, homeless and unencumbered with stuff art only provides us with a finite appreciation of the work and craft of highly dedicated and talented individuals.
|The grounds near the art school and art classrooms.|
We don’t own a wall, a floor or a table to hold or display such an artistic piece of the work of these creative talents. Nor do we have a storage place to hold such works for future use should we ever stop traveling.
|Display of children’s work in one of the classrooms in the adjacent building.|
Although Livingstone with it’s World Heritage Victoria Falls is one of the world’s most desired tourist attractions, the culture is very different here than one might find in many other popular tourist destinations.
|Artist in residence honing his skills.|
Subsequently, we were literally “over the moon” traveling over yet another bumpy dirt road (quite a familiar experience for us in rough-roaded Marloth Park) and we approached the most quaint and charming WayiWayi Art Studio and Gallery, located at Plot #2613/392 Kalukuluku Street (off Airport Road) in Livingstone, Zambia.
|Artist in residence working in one of the several workrooms with children learning from the experiences.|
To reach Agness, contact her on their Facebook page here or she can be reached by email at this link. No reservation to tour the center is required during normal business hours but since the property is also hers and her husband residence, it’s best to contact Agness outside any regular hours.
|Opportunities for both youth and adults to enhance their skills.|
Should any of our readers travel to this exceptional country to visit Victoria Falls, a stop at this culturally fascinating facility is an absolute must, especially if cultural experiences fit well into your travel plans.
|Art supplies and storage area.|
As soon as we exited the taxi, Agness immediately approached us, hand outstretched to warmly greet us, two strangers. Little did she know we’d be writing a story with many photos about her outstanding artistic endeavors.
|A separate room dedicated to marriage rites and customs. This pattern on the floor is for the engaged couple to walk on tiptoes together symbolizing their ability to work as a couple.|
As far as she knew we were typical tourists/shoppers interested in purchasing a few items to bring “home” for ourselves, family members and friends as a reminder of a tour of Livingstone, Zambia.
|Agness’ husband Lawrence painted this beautiful piece indicating the family’s unity and involvement in the marriage.|
In only a matter of moments, Agness understood how committed we are to sharing “her” story in words and photos and possibly attracting the attention of art enthusiasts and future shoppers whose purchases help to support the continuation of such a fine educational and creative center for children and adults.
|A collage of photos of the many stages of preparation for the upcoming marriage.
From the simple one-page brochure we’re sharing their words on services offered (as an important adjunct to our two-day story as follows):
1. Produce, display and sell high-quality Zambian arts, crafts, and design.
2. Organize workshops and art exhibition locally and nationwide.
3. Provide apprenticeship opportunities for emerging artists.
4. Empowering women’s groups and youth with skills-training in the visual arts.
5. Offer hands-on arts and crafts to children aged one and a half to six-month and above.
6. Showcase the Mbusa cultural traditions (pottery, wall paintings, and artifacts used in the traditional Bemba marriage ceremony). For detail on these traditions, please click here).
7. Face/body paintings for various function for all age groups.
8. Resource Centre for the visual art in Zambia’s Southern province.
9. Provide studio space and Residency opportunities for local and foreign artists, in all areas of art.
10. To stock and supply a variety of art and craft materials for use by local schools and community programs.
|Music, wall hangings, artifacts, and pottery are an integral part of the traditional Bemba marriage ceremony and rituals.|
We will say this today and then repeat it tomorrow: “Thank you Agness Buya for adding such a rich texture to our ongoing experiences in your fine country and for all the care and support you provide for your artistic community.”
|This wall mural contains many sections representing different aspects of life for the Zambian couple as they prepare for marriage, a lifetime commitment in this culture.|
Tomorrow we’ll be back with Part 2 with a focus on many of the taboos commonly observed in Zambian culture. Please stop back.
|Our friend Louise, whom we met in Kauai Hawaii identified this bird as a Hoffmann’s Woodpecker. Thanks, Louise, we appreciated the information. I took this photo while seated on the sofa on the veranda while working on the day’s post while in Atenas, Costa Rica. For more photos, please click here.|