Famous artist signs pledge to help campaign with hand print

2008-10-02 08:05

Internationally acclaimed local artist Anthony Wakaba Mutheki, who served his apprenticeship on the streets, has pledged to support the I Care campaign for street children via a unique fundraising project.

Mutheki will be leading a “Day of Expression” on November 10 at Gateway's Kizo Art Gallery with 20 rehabilitated street children from I Care homes. The project has been conceptualised and sponsored by one of I Care's chief sponsors, Awesome Destinations. The works of art produced by Mutheki and the children will be auctioned on November 14 at the gallery.

“This art collaboration has given me a platform from which to speak directly to underprivileged youth. What better way to reach and inspire than through the medium I love so deeply - art,” Mutheki said this week.

Denis Cochrane, chairman of I Care, said she anticipates a great response from the I Care children on the day. “This art collaboration is a fantastic opportunity for our children to interact with someone famous. In light of Mutheki's past experiences, this will be an inspiration for them and we hope to highlight the fact that they can do anything they put their minds to!”

Despite his lack of formal training in the arts, Mutheki began painting at a young age. He moved from West Africa to Johannesburg in 1998 to find work. He lived on the streets of “Jozi” and Cape Town, making a meagre living by selling bottles and cans for recycling.

Eventually, his work caught the eye of art connoisseur and Kizo Gallery owner Craig Mark in 2001. He has never looked back and today his powerful and largely abstract pieces are prized in international art circles. He has exhibited at numerous high-profile overseas exhibitions and his work has been snapped up by local collectors and corporates.

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