Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Namibian Artists on the Move

Press Release

08 July 2008

For immediate release!

“shared experiences”

Stipend Program for Visual Artists

Announcing the Jury Selection

Sometimes great things start with a small dream, a healthy portion of passion and lots of hard work...

“It is with great happiness and gratitude that I would like to announce the selection of the first Namibian visual artists for the “shared experiences” stipend program.” says Imke Rust, director of berlin-windhoek gGmbH. “At the end of 2006 I have been on a stipend program in Berlin and expressed my desire that more Namibian artists should have such an opportunity.Together with Oliver Schruoffeneger and the help of many supportive people, institutions and sponsors the “shared experiences” artistic exchange project was launched and we spent much time and work in making this dream a reality. Exactly two years after my DAAD stipend in Berlin, the first artists will fly to Germany with the generous support of Air Namibia. They will receive a stipend covering living and working costs, and will be guests of the Künstlerhaus Bethanien and the BBK in Berlin for several months.”

Jost Kirsten
Many artists followed the official call for applications in May this year, and the international jury that consisted of Berlin and Windhoek art professionals, had a difficult task to select the most deserving candidates, namely Mr Jost Kirsten, Mr Kaleb Haipinge, Ms Cristina Savoldi and Mr Kleopas Nghikefelwa.

Jost Kirsten has been selected for the prestigious residency in the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, where he will have his own studio space for a year and can work towards a solo exhibition to be held in Berlin. He commented that it was a happy surprise for him to hear that he has been selected. He is looking forward to showing his works in Germany, something he would not be able to do without a residency program like this, since his works are very big and extremely expensive to transport to other countries. “It is a great way to measure my art within European standards and get a feeling for the art market in a foreign country. I am very excited to spend a hopefully productive and stimulating year in Berlin!” says Kirsten.

Kleopas Nghikefelwa

The other three artists will spend between two and four months at the BBK (Professional Artists Association of Berlin) and have the opportunity to work at their sculpture or printmaking workshops. This stipend is aimed at giving upcoming artists a glimpse of the international art world and its possibilities. It is hoped that this will have a positive and inspiring impact on their future careers as professional artists.

Cristina Savoldi and Kaleb Haipinge berlin-windhoek, their sponsors and the judges would like to congratulate the selected artists and wish them a creative and stimulating time in Berlin. Thank you to all artists who have applied. The next invitation for applications for the stipend program 2009/10 will be announced in the media in due course.

The residency program is made possible with the generous support of our sponsors: Air Namibia, Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin, Tagesspiegel, Institut fuer Auslandsbeziehungen and German Embassy in Namibia.

(Imke Rust)


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