The National Gallery of Zimbabwe will host the 2015 Portrait Show Exhibition by the top portrait artists under the theme, "Prominent Personalities: Portraits of Zimbabwe", from April 23 to June 29, 2015.
The exhibition coincides with the launch of the National Portrait Gallery of Zimbabwe.
This exhibition seeks to build stronger audiences for the National Gallery of Zimbabwe as the major viewers of its exhibitions are foreign based. This year, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe will stage a show focusing on the most influential Zimbabweans through different categories.
The categories range from figures in the world of linguistic, politicians, health and wellness personalities, visual artists, legal experts, science, music, actors for stage and screen, gender activists and even beauty queens among others. These categories tap into the success and inspirational Zimbabweans from recent history and strive to give a broad identity of the people who make Zimbabwe unique.
The purpose of the exhibition is part of a long-term project and it is always important to honour the founding figures with the inception of any project. The NGZ will develop this exhibition in coming years where the contemporary figures in that time are going to be preserved through portraiture.
"The idea of the show came up a long time ago and was inspired by the prominent personalities in Rhodesia," stressed the deputy director and chief curator of the NGZ, Raphael Chikukwa, during his interview with Star FM.
"It is a publication which makes us see the need for us to recognise our own achievements and our own people in Zimbabwe."
The genre of portrait painting does not have enough exposure to the public. Aside from the few cases of individual artists who draw portraits on the streets and at festivals, knowledge of the importance of this genre of painting is low. In line with the National Portrait Gallery Project, the NGZ has identified some of the portrait artists who can execute the work. The NGZ is also welcoming those interested to collect a registration form at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe reception.
In order to mobilise public interest for the show, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe would like to team up with the media partners in order to have a greater reach to the opinion base that will provide the content for the exhibition. This public campaign could result in two to three names in each category and afterwards the organisers would make choices through tally of results.
The Gallery would like to invite the public to choose their 50 most prominent icons thereafter. Fifty proven portrait artists will be commissioned to paint the images that will form the basis of the National Portrait Gallery of Zim- babwe.
"We strive to renew this exhibition continuously over the coming years and our projection with this show is to see it become a stand-alone gallery that would seek to empower the portrait genre and expose portrait artists while showcasing all of our people that have made sterling contributions across all sectors," Chikukwa added.