Promoting African artists amid COVID-19 with ‘Reflect’

By Prisca Sam-Duru

The global art community is one of the most heavily hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, with the closure or postponement of many art events including concerts, book fairs, museum exhibitions, galleries, as well as film, stage, art, and literary festivals.

These cancelled events left most artists devastated with a vague future. Worse hit have been individual artists who depend on their art as the only means of livelihood.

In response to the dire situation, the “Living 4 Art” Gallery in Casablanca held a group exhibition recently, showcasing several plastic artworks by twenty Moroccan and African visual artists.

“Living 4 Art”, an art gallery in Casablanca that seeks to promote all forms of art in Morocco through organized group exhibitions under several themes, offers artists the opportunity to exhibit their art and expand their social and professional networks.

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Themed “Reflect”, the exhibition creatively explored the Covid-19 crisis in Morocco while bringing plastic artists together with the aim to promote their art to a bigger audience, and provide a space for meeting and exchange between artists and lovers of plastic art.

‘Reflect’ featured some sixty art pieces from a number of emerging and established Moroccan artists, including Salma Zaghba, Saidi Imane, Imane Mansir, Abdennaser Benabbou, Zineb Idrissi, and Ashwaq Mohamed and other African artists.

  1. Excited about how much the exhibition encouraged the artists in a time of pandemic, Moroccan painter Samia Benjelloun Zahr expressed her gratitude for the collective art exhibition, noting that the exhibition allowed artists to express themselves despite the pandemic and creatively tackle the global crisis and its social repercussions.

“I am happy to share with you pieces that I have created throughout the year, which not only allowed me to express my feelings in the lockdown period but also express my passion,” said Benjelloun Zahr.

Another artist, Zineb Idrissi said that her art, as indicated in the title of the art collective exhibition, “constitutes a reflection of her state of mind. Through a burst of color of nature and a touch of light, her work seeks to capture and magnify joy and hope amid daily crises and confusions”.

In addition to assisting artists to navigate the difficult times posed by the pandemic, the Fez Art Lap event and the International Center for Diplomacy (ICD) have also worked to raise awareness about the virus, shared creative messages of hope, and assisted local and national artists during their COVID-19-incurred hardships, through group exhibitions.

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