Selection of work and the
artist-in-residence program

ZimArt represents over 50 artists from the different regions and communities in Zimbabwe, which have a vibrant stone sculpting tradition. Some of these sculptors have exhibited their work widely internationally; others, despite being truly gifted, have had limited exposure. While a few of the artists ZimArt represents come from large art co-operatives, the majority sculpt from home-based workshops or small studios.

ZimArt’s owner and curator, Fran Fearnley, travels to Zimbabwe to select new works for the Rice Lake Gallery and ZimArt’s annual exhibitions. By travelling to where the artists live and work to source sculpture, ZimArt’s curator is able to bring together a diverse and dynamic collection.

Although there is increased use of power tools today in Zimbabwe, ZimArt is committed to working with sculptors who have chosen to continue with the tradition of using hand tools. The artists are encouraged to avoid repetition and to push their artistic boundaries and perfect their technical skills.

Some of the artists have been represented by ZimArt since the business was founded in 2000. In addition to these longstanding relationships, ZimArt also actively looks for talented ‘new’ sculptors to promote.

What is ZimArt’s artist-in-residence program?

ZimArt has supported an artist-in-residence program since 2001. Over the years the program has been refined to maximize the benefits for the visiting artists. The artists are chosen based on a number of criteria, including that they be at a stage in their career where the experience will take both their art and their life to a different level.

The artist-in-residence travels to Canada for the summer. A substantial body of the artist’s work is featured in exhibitions hosted by ZimArt during the season and the artist is promoted to regional and national media in a comprehensive media campaign.

The artist-in-residence has an important role to play in talking and demonstrating to Rice Lake Gallery and exhibition visitors, and acting as a cultural ambassador for all the artists represented by ZimArt.

The artist also leads both adult and family sculpting workshops at the Rice Lake Gallery. This rare opportunity for an immersion experience in sculpting Zimbabwean style – outside under tents, using only hand tools – attracts first-time carvers and accomplished artists alike. This has become such a popular program that many participants return year after year!

We are delighted to welcome Rufaro Ngoma as the 2017 artist-in-residence,

Who are ZimArt’s former artists-in-residence?

Former ZimArt artists-in-residence are: Stewart Mudzimurega 2001 (now deceased), Elvis Mamvura 2002,  Dominic Benhura 2003, Perlagia Mutyavavri 2004, Walter Mariga 2005, 2015 & 2016, Andamiyo Chihota 2006,  Simon Chidharara 2007 & 2013, Singi Chihota 2008, Authur Manyengedzo 2009, Givemore Mashaya 2010, Letwin Mugavazi 2011, Stephen Murenza 2012 and Vengai Chiwawa 2014.


Playing With Mum by Dominic Benhura

Art Review Quote
“The marvellous Shona sculpture from Zimbabwe not only speak for Africa, but they speak for all of us.  They restore a dignity to art which it is in danger of losing.”

– Art Review, London