The Sadolin MabARTi Challenge was created by Sadolin Paints Uganda Ltd and Goethe-Zentrum Kampala/ Ugandan German Cultural Society to support the presence of art in public space and encourage Ugandan artists to reach out to new audiences. After a successful first round in 2011, the challenge took place for the second time in June 2014, again sponsored by Sadolin Paints Uganda and organized in partnership with Laba! Arts Festival and the Goethe-Zentrum/ Ugandan German Cultural Society. The shared intention is to enable a number of contemporary visual artists to express themselves in public space, this time under the theme “Your Colour, your World”.
During an application period, the organizers called for visual artists to participate in the challenge. A professional jury representing members of the art and cultural scene in Kampala selected the participants amongst the applying known and upcoming artists who were then allocated to locations picked by the organizers all over Kampala. At the official press launch on the Sadolin premises, the participating artists were announced to the public and the art kits to equip the artists for their work during the period of the challenge were handed over.
Starting that day, 28 artists had one week to create an original artwork, each of them onto a different 3×2 metre sized mabaati sheet to be seen by everyone. While the task challenged the artists to express themselves in a new setting and on a new medium, they used the opportunity to present their skills and style to the public.
The challenge resulted in a great variety of artworks, each of them responding to the theme in their own unique way. In the end, the jury chose four artists to be the winners of this 2nd Sadolin MabARTi Challenge: Jude Kasagga (1st prize), Alex Kwizera (2nd prize), Ocom Adonias (3rd prize) and Saad Lukwago (3rd prize) convinced the jury with their artworks in response to the theme, the environment and the everyday life of Kampala but also through the artistic expression and use of colour. The four of them won cash prizes as well as the opportunity to display more of their artworks in a group exhibition following the challenge.
The Sadolin MabARTi Challenge Art Exhibition was officially opened on 3rd July 2014 at the Uganda Museum with a small catering, drinks and a short musical intervention by the Ugandan musician Kaz Kasozi. Part of the programme was the official handover of the prizes through Chris Nugent, managing director of Sadolin Paints Uganda. As an appreciation of all final mabaati artworks, the results had been printed in a collective catalogue which was handed out to the participating artists and sold to the public at the exhibition opening. The opening event attracted many visitors interested to find out more about the challenge and the winning artists – this mirrors the success of the project’s idea of reaching more people by presenting Ugandan artists in the public space.
Sadolin Paints Uganda deserves a big thank you for enabling this project, which gives artists more visibility and a new audience while setting a statement to support artistic interventions in the public space. We hope there will be similar initiatives in the future that, like the MabARTi Challenge, contribute to the idea of creating art that can be appreciated by Kampala’s communities and enables interaction with the city and its people.
A special thank you goes to the jury:
Rose Kirumira (artist and lecturer at Makerere University), Collin Sekajugo (artist and director of Weaver Bird Arts Foundation) and Bamuturaki Musinguzi (cultural journalist for the East African), Carolin Christgau (director of GZK/UGCS) and Chris Nugent (managing director of Sadolin Paints Uganda Ltd).
The face of Kampala was changed by all participants of the 2nd Sadolin MabARTi Challenge:
Alex Kwizera, Carson Buka, Charity Atukunda, Darsan Ainembabazi, Denis Mubiru, Doddridge Busingye, Dungu Michael, Charity Kansiime, Gilbert Musinguzi, Gilbert Kafuuma, Ibrahim Muwanga, Jimmy John Ogwang, Johnbosco Muramuzi, Jovan Kiganda, Jude Kasagga, John Baptist Sekubulwa, Kenneth Otelu, Muhammad Sebandeke, Nduhira Sadat, Ocom Adonias, Paul Kasambeko, Paul Kintu, Richard Wasike, Ronnie Chris Tindi, Saad Lukwago, Simon Peter Katumba, Smith Bate Joabell and Immaculate Mali.
by Lena Fritsch