Uweza Art Gallery

Why an art gallery?

There is a distinct lack of opportunities for creative expression or development of artistic talent in most Kenyan schools, and opportunities to participate in art for Kibera children and youth are extremely limited, despite a plethora of artistic talent. Many young artists, due to lack of access to materials, are limited in how far they can pursue an interest or talent in the arts. 

The Uweza Art Gallery opened in 2013 to provide art students and young artists with a safe space and materials to explore their own creative expression and develop artistic skills. For older artists who are creating their own, original artwork, the gallery provides free materials, exposure, and access to markets so that artists are able to pursue art as a genuine career path. 

History of the gallery: 

The Uweza Art Program first started in 2011 in one room at the Uweza Community Center. Shortly after initiating the classes, we were amazed by the obvious inherent artistic talent emanating from the young artists and decided to start selling their work online. We officially opened the Uweza Art Gallery in one room of a shipping container in 2013, where the gallery was located for the next six years.

The Uweza Art Gallery opened in 2013 to provide art students and young artists with a safe space and materials to explore their own creative expression and develop artistic skills. For older artists who are creating their own, original artwork, the gallery provides free materials, exposure, and access to markets so that artists are able to pursue art as a genuine career path. 
We have sold artwork created by young artists from Kibera through our website, social media accounts, exhibitions both in Kenya and outside of Kenya, and to visitors to the gallery. 60% of all sales go directly to the artists and/or to the costs of her/his education if she/he is under 18. The remaining 40% of sales goes back into paying rent and purchasing materials so that the gallery can sustain itself. In 2018, the gallery became self-sustaining for the first time.
After the gallery became self-sustaining, we then set out to move to a larger space and settled upon our current two-story house in Olympic Estate. The new space, opened in January 2019, includes two rooms for exhibition space, two workshop rooms, and a large outdoor space that is used for painting and for art classes for Kibera children. Our art classes are held every weekend, are led by older Uweza artists, and are aimed at providing children with the opportunity to express themselves creatively as well as develop and explore artistic talent.
Today, we support and work with 20 young artists who are now pursuing art as a genuine career path. For the majority of our artists, art sales are their main source of income. Several artists are currently attending university, paying tuition and housing costs with the sales of their artwork. Others use the funds to support their families and invest in small businesses. They have been able to utilize their artistic talents to transform their lives.

Learn more and support the gallery:

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram

Purchase paintings from our artists.

Contact us at +254720384393 or info@uwezakenya.org.

Visit the gallery! We are located at Olympic Estate in Kibera, House 4.