“I was made an artist by other artists and the only way I can thank those who made me what I am today is promoting other artists in any way I can.” These are the words of world renowned Shona Sculptor Dominic Benhura on his visit to the Chitungwiza Arts Centre recently.
Way too humble for his fame, Dominic Benhura came to Chitungwiza Arts Centre to find ways he can work with stone sculptors there to promote them. He says he is attached to Chitungwiza Arts Centre because when it was officially opened in 1997, he donated 30 tonnes of raw stones to the commune so that artists based there could have a starting point. Since then, he has always been following progress of the art centre and trying to support it in ways he could.
Today, Dominic Benhura came to Chitungwiza Arts Centre and bought more than 20 stone sculptures as a way to financially support artists and to encourage them to be more creative.
Being the inspirational figure that he is, Dominic spared his time to have individual discussions with a number of artists. The discussions ranged from the new market trends in sculpture, art workshops, prices of sculptures, ways of marketing sculptures among other issues that affect stone sculptors on a daily basis.
Even though every artist wanted a piece of him, Dominic still managed to create time for everyone who was interested in talking to him; obviously we the AVAC Arts team could not be left behind, we also wanted a piece of the famed sculptor and we had our ten or so minutes with him and it was the high point of our day.
Having worked from Chapungu Sculpture Village, Dominic Benhura understands the importance of art centres in promoting the growth of visual arts at a community level. He can relate with problems and challenges that sculptors face every day because he has seen it all. It is this understanding and his desire to give back to the community that drive Dominic to support other artists.