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Tag: the art of gifting


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Why there is an art to gifting

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From pencil portraits to sculptures, look to the artistic world for what to give friends and family.

Gakunju Kaigwas polished wood seat. PHOTO FILE

It is never easy to know what to give a special family member or friend at Christmas that is novel and unique. You would like to surprise them with something they did not even know they needed but once youve given them, they are delighted to have it.

Nobody feels good about giving something of value only for it to be tossed into a bottom drawer or into the garbage bin.

The true art in giving is to do it from the heart with careful selection.

Why not try gifting art to the special people in your life. You can do so by spending a little or a lot, depending on your taste and that of the recipient.

Probably the surest gift you can give is something sentimental, for instance, something associated with the family. Theres also fine art that is functional, be it for their home, their wardrobe or something that will brighten up and beautify their lives.

Functional art consists mainly of home furnishing that are often organics made out of natural wood and hand-carved by a sculptor who knows how to enhance the elegance, beauty and eye-catching originality of their work.

One of the best-known Kenyan artists who specialises in functional art is Gakunju Kaigwa who creates everything from benches, stools and chairs to mirror frames, coffee and dining room tables.

Elijah Ogira is another renown sculptor who creates functional art, including beautiful bed-frames. Both artists are environmentally sensitive and only work with found wood.

Outdoor sculptures are suitable for someone with a garden since they need a bit of space to be seen and appreciated.

Kioko Mwitiki is Kenyas best known scrap-metal sculptor whose specialty is monumental wildlife sculptures. He is especially popular for his lifesize elephants, rhinos and giraffes, which he often exhibits in the US at the San Diego Zoo in California.

Kiokos art is so well received at the Zoo that he fills whole containers with his metal creatures. His Pimbi Gallery is the easiest way to find him. It is also where one can see his impressive menagerie of wildlife sculptures which come in all sizes, not only life-size but miniature as well.

Fashion accessories are always fun items to receive since they invariably add a touch of luxury to ones wardrobe and even notoriety. For example, Michael Sois hand-painted tote bags are all one-of-a-kind items that Soi initially publicised on Facebook.

But once Kenyas own Academy Award- winning actress and model Lupita Nyongo got one and showed it off to the paparazzi photographers who populate her life, Sois sales in these sturdy Afro-beauty bags began to soar and have been flying out of his GoDown studio as quickly as he can create them.

Finally, one gift item you may not have considered before is a wall mural made either with paints (be it acrylic, spray or wall paint) or mosaic tiles.

You can have one painted or put up on a wall inside your home, be it in a childs nursery, a kitchen or sitting room, or outside on a garage or front door, a side wall or even on a front or back gate.

You can see Maryann Muthonis mosaic tile murals at the entrance of Two Rivers mall, Graffiti wall art at the Railways Museum and Dust Depo and mosaic scrap metal sidewalks at Kitengela Glass Trust.

As were in the Christmas holiday season, receiving a polished, hand-carved wood panel portraying an iconic image like The Last Supper might be a truly memorable gift.

Created by Rwandese artist Bahimba Thaddee Macumi who also carves beautiful tables and chairs, the wooden panel is a cross between a painting and a wood sculpture.

Bahimba can be found at his workshop in the Kivuli Centre in Riruta, Dagoretti or on Facebook. He also makes beautiful checker-board-like rugs and carpets with goat and cow skins.

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