Break the monotony and visit an art gallery

In Uganda, traditional art is a way of life. Commercially, the art and crafts industry is a source of employment to a growing number of practitioners both in and out of Uganda. 

What you need to know:

  • Art. When it comes to holidays, most Ugandans usually love doing the same things.
  • It becomes boring. What if you try something out of the usual, go out and see art, writes, Andrew Kaggwa.

The holidays are a chance to reconnect with family and make merry. Of course, by now, some people are yet to break off from work but it is already the season. They are letting loose and a number of parties have already been organised.

In Uganda, we tend to do the same things every festive season such as visit the zoo, restaurants and some go for outings at the beach.But all these ventures are costly.

You could however switch things up by visiting an art gallery, did you know we have a number scattered around the country. Of course, many of them are in Kampala because that’s where many of the collectors are but there are others in Masaka and Entebbe. Unlike restaurants, cinemas and other recreational centres, most Ugandan galleries don’t have an access fee, they are freely accessible.

Visiting an art gallery can provide a unique and enriching experience for individuals and families during the festive season. It offers an opportunity to appreciate and support local artists while immersing oneself in the vibrant cultural scene of Uganda. Additionally, exploring different art galleries allows for a diverse range of artistic styles and themes to be discovered, providing a refreshing alternative to the usual festive activities. 
These are some of the galleries you can check out this season.

Afriart Gallery, Industrial Area Seventh Street
The gallery has been part of Uganda’s visual art scene for years and is not merely reputable but has a reputation beyond the Ugandan borders. Afriart has hosted some of the biggest Ugandan exhibitions and they usually have a running exhibition throughout the year.

Xenson Art Space, Kamwokya
Kamwokya is a very artistic area with many galleries such as Aka Gallery and Umoja Gallery. Xenson Art Space created by visual artist Samson Ssenkaba alias Xenson, it hosts a number of activities such as performances, film showcases and art exhibitions. For a big part of the day or the week, it is an art gallery that people can visit and walk through. 

Margaret Trowell Art Gallery, Makerere University
This is one of the oldest galleries in Uganda. It however hosts many students, former students and lecturers’ exhibitions. The access to the gallery may be tricky sometimes but once there, there is always a lot it offers. Unlike other galleries however, this one is not always exhibiting.

Nommo Gallery, Nakasero
This is the national gallery, unfortunately, it has been in the media only for questionable reasons. But it still curates exhibitions, film screenings and performances. Any time of the day, the exhibition is always on.

Amasaka Gallery
Founded by artist Collin Sekajugo, the gallery is named after Amasaka which means sorghum in Kinyarwanda. It’s believed that Masaka city got its name from the same. Located in Masaka City, the space is one of the few dealing with Kampala’s monopoly of art spaces.

Ndugu Art Gallery, Entebbe
This is one of the newest spaces on this list. Established in 2022 by artist Godfrey Sserugunda. The gallery was created to challenge artists and probe them to be more creative and innovative to produce competitive artworks from both established and upcoming artists.