The African Artist Project


After spending several months here, and waiting to continue this project because my video camera was stolen, I am changing the focus of my project. Though Craftspeople and artisans have important knowledge and skills, I am going to be working exclusively with fine artists when I get my camera (May 6). The life for fine artist here is challanging and inspiring, and true artists are rare in developing countries. In the meantime, there are a few special artisans that I have found and given peoples donations to. Unfortunatley, I dont have a camera, so some of them I have no good documentation for, but I will list them either way:

Kadidja and the pottery community of Mopti, Mali.

Yaya, a Bronze artisan in Bobo, Ouagadougo.

Vivian, a fine artist in Ouagadougo.

Further details on these artisans soon.

The project that I am currently working on is starting in Mali, and continuing throughout West Africa. I will be in West Africa From Dec 2010 to June (or later) 2011. I am interviewing artists, and using film to archive both the innovations of contemporary west african artists, and the knowledge of craft that is disappearing, as young people leave  family traditions to move to cities. The interviews with artists have been sponsored by people from the US. If you would like to sponsor an interview with an artist, you can do so under the Support Page. If you leave an address, you will get a letter back from who ever received your sponsorship! Please follow along to learn about artists as I interview them.

These are the first seven Artists that  were sponsored, while in Timbuktu, Mali.


7 responses to “The African Artist Project

  1. Debbie Kaye

    Maria —
    you are so gifted at adventure! I’ll keep tuning in for the latest.
    with love to you, Dear.

  2. ahbi

    MARIA!!!! YOU ARE TOTALLY AWESOME!!! sending absolute love, ahbi and gary

  3. Trish Lehman

    Maria…This is AWESOME…..what a wonderful experience you are sharing with all of us …. thank you for your work….for touching the lives of your kindred spirits…..oh, you are pure love Maria!!!
    Sending you love….Trish and Ron

  4. Baba Wague

    Hey Mudpuppy, Ronna and I have been following your journey. It is very sweet and nostalgic for us. All of the video interviews that you could not decipher I will be happy to help you translate when you return.
    Wague and Ronna

  5. cynthia

    Maria and Josh,
    love the videos and glad to hear that Josh made it!
    If you can have Josh send me a brief note letting me know how it went.
    The music festival looks awesome
    love you, Cinnie

  6. baba

    Oh Maria, I am so happy that you are doing your life’s work to relate to people who love their art as you do. You go girl! The world is a better place for you being in it. Aloha! Baba

  7. Brett Poirier

    Maria (and Josh too) – I am chomping at the bit to get to a computer that will allow me to see/hear the interviews. Alas, my little laptop unit does not do this but when I get back to California in a few days I cannot wait to get to my work office and view them! I will try to sponsor more artists as well as money trickles in during the lean winter period – because I think you are doing such good and appropriate work (and play) there. I love the few pix so far too, whether you or Josh are taking them! Much love from the States.

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