First Lady appreciates works of Art at “Visual Voices” launch


First Lady Margaret Kenyatta speaking during the launch of the book; Visual Voices at Zen Garden, Nairobi


First Lady Margaret Kenyatta today said works of Art allow the society to see and appreciate the world from a different and better perspective.

She said Art allows people to see what they may have ordinarily assumed or ignored.

“Art gives us a unique lens to the world, it gives us a perspective to help us make sense of what goes on around us”, said the First Lady who has a deep passion for the Arts.

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She said Art gives the society a whole new educational experience and helps people communicate in ways that words cannot.

The First Lady spoke at the Zen Gardens, Lower Kabete, Nairobi, when she launched a unique book on Art- “Visual Voices”, authored and published by Mrs Susan Wakhungu-Githuku ( Footprint Press)  and which puts together the works of 57 of Kenya’s best and most notable contemporary Artists.

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First Lady Margaret Kenyatta views various Art Exhibitions during the launch of the book; Visual Voices at Zen Garden with Mrs Susan Wakhungu Githuku

Some of the Artists, who also attended today’s function included Beatrice Wanjiku, Justus Kyalo, Marc Van Rampelberg, Michael Soi, Morris Foit, Alex Mbevo, Michael Armitage, Mary Ogembo, Wambui Collymore, Elimo Njau, Paul Onditi and Anthony Okelo.

The artists, some of who flew to Kenya for the launch, were described as the best in the region.

Besides featuring the unique works of the Artists, the book also carries their brief profiles.

The new 650-page book captures over 400 pieces of Art, presenting a variety of unique styles and technical skills in artistic presentation

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It features paintings, sculptures, murals, photography, furniture and glassworks -a diversity of memorable pieces that lovers of Art are likely to appreciate.

Some of the Art enthusiasts acquired signed copies of the book during today’s launch-cum-auction.

The First Lady said the book attests to the growing fraternity of artists in Kenya who have found their space and creative voices to show to the world what talents in Art that abound in Kenya.

“This book allows us to control our own narrative and tell our own stories.  Because for many years others have cultivated careers – exploiting our local communities – displaying us in art, photographs and books as if to say- see how they live”, said the First Lady.

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The First Lady applauded Mrs Wakhungu-Githuku for her foresight, inspiration, focus and persistence to author and put together such splendid work of Art.

She described the book as a must have for all art collectors.

Among key Art lovers from the corporate world who attended the launch ceremony included Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore and businessman Chris Kirubi .

Others included Former Vice President Moody Awori who is the Patron of the Footprints Press.

Cabinet Secretaries Prof. Judi Wakhungu  (Environment and Natural Resources) , Ambassador Rachel Omamo (Defence) and Mrs Wakhungu-Githuku received the First Lady at the Zen Gardens.


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