Teaching, learning, enjoying a natural affinity: EAS Zambian artist George Mubanga is sharing his experience of making art with kids in the French School of Lusaka.
Art has been my passion since childhood. I started drawing when I was in grade five. Unfortunately I was not in an art class, but I used to draw at home. I was unable to take art as a subject at school because I was placed in a History class and I could not change classes.
I grew up as a self taught artist. After I finished high school in 2013 I decided to become a full time artist and started my own studio and experimented with many different materials so that I could understand more about the process and learn how materials work.
and the Art Academy without Walls, both in Lusaka. There I had the chance to meet and interact with Zambia’s senior artists and to learn a lot, since almost everyone I met had taken art in school and college, and some were already art teachers and lecturers. Because of lack of funds I was unable to attend the university, so I continued to teach myself and learning from senior artists.
In March this year, I got the opportunity to do art activities with kids at the French School of Lusaka. It was only for one week, but I took this opportunity because of my passion to explore more in art, and because I liked the idea of interacting with kids. I often have kids come to play in my studio, and I enjoy teaching them how to draw and paint, so I was already familiar with kids.
My job at the French School was to demonstrate to the kids how materials work and to make artworks with them in each class. I prepared the activities tomake artworks using mixed recycled materials which the kids brought from home. Each class made different works. The kids were excited about the activities and enjoyed making art this way, because they had the freedom to express their creativity. They made artworks out of plastics, paper, containers, wood, glue, paint, charcoal, cans, soil, broken toys and fabric .
At the end of the art week we displayed the works in the school hall. The parents and teachers came to see them and they were amazed at seeing what the kids had made out of recycled materials. Seeing the good results of that week, the director of the school asked me to continue to do art activities with the kids once a week. I happily accepted because this opportunity could help me to research and learn more before I could go and teach in a class. And I would continue to work in my studio the rest of the week.
As of today, I am still doing the art activities with the kids at the French School of Lusaka. It is the best experience in my career. I have learned a lot from the people I have met, and teaching art to kids is great: they fully express themselves in making art, and I learn a lot from them as well. I guess I feel a natural connection with kids, which makes it easy for me to interact and share my gift with them.
George Mubanga is a self taught artist. He finished High School in 2013 and he has now an art practice in his studio in Lusaka, Zambia. He is a member of the Visual Arts Council and the Art Academy without Walls, both in Lusaka.