GALLERY Delta has celebrated their 45th anniversary, an event which was marked by an exhibition of artworks which dated to as far as the mid-1970s to current.
Dubbed “Engaging the 45th year the event was opened by Mr Timo Olkkonen, ambassador, head of the delegation of the European Union to Zimbabwe with various delegates from different embassies and art enthusiasts in attendance.
At least 35 artist from senior artist to young artist exhibited an array of artworks from graphics, paintings, sculptures, ceramics and 3 dimensional objects.
Speaking at the event Mr Olkkonen said he felt honoured to open the exhibition and the EU was proud to work with Gallery Delta in support art in Zimbabwe.
“At a time where the world in general and Zimbabwe in particular appear to be in a state of worrying flux, longevity and persistence need to be cherished; a longevity and persistence that Gallery Delta has shown over 44 years, despite a challenging economic and political environment and often at great personal cost.
“This exhibition, a large group show comprising an incredible variety of paintings, graphics, sculpture and ceramics by about 35 artists, is testimony not only to the outstanding quality and variety of Zimbabwean artists, but also to the exceptional work, dedication and passion of Helen Lieros, Dereck Huggins and their team at Gallery Delta. For 44 years they have managed to create space for Zimbabwean artists to express themselves and develop their talents to world class standards,” he said.
Dereck Huggins the director of Gallery Delta Foundation for Art and the Humanities gave a brief history on how the Gallery was formed to where it was now.
“Gallery Delta was established at Strachan’s Building in the Manica Road, Salisbury in 1975 at a time of international sanctions, conflict and civil war. The intention and policy of its proprietors from the outset was to encourage painting, graphics, mixed media, sculpture and ceramics as a contra to the predominance of Shona stop sculpture.
“In retrospect this was an ambitious undertaking that did not foresee a life work of 44 years to contribute to the development of a Zimbabwean contemporary art and painting movement that achieved international standards,” he said.
Mr Huggins said they have taken satisfaction in witnessing the success, at home and abroad of many artists who emerged from their fold.
He said the work of nurturing, encouraging, supporting and promotion of young painters continued into the new millennium to the present day.