The Evolution and History of
Let me preface this by saying, I’ve always loved original art. In Africa I found the mother load!
Let’s see… I moved to Kenya in 1989, with a two-year contract to work with a government agency in Nairobi. Immediately on landing in Nairobi I was struck by the sights, sounds and smells of Africa. It didn’t take long for me to discover all of the incredible art galleries in town – and in a short time I found myself with quite an impressive collection of paintings and African art of all sorts.
When my contract was over there was no way I was going to leave. In addition to my wonderful art collection, I had made many good friends and truly, I was in love with life in Kenya. It was during this time that things were brewing in Somalia – it was the ‘Blackhawk Down’ era – so I took a humanitarian relief job with a United Nations implementation agency and was sent to Bardera, Somalia. After my stint there, from which I am still shell-shocked to this day, I was sent to post-genocide Rwanda (on day 101 of the 100-day slaughter), where I spent two years managing the rehabilitation efforts in the southwest prefecture of Cyangugu.
All this time and everywhere I went I met local artists and continued to collect local art. After Rwanda I went to South Sudan for a couple more years – and finally when I had enough of war zones I started a perfect job in Nairobi as the Deputy Director of KickStart Kenya – the makers of the Money maker irrigation pump for very peaceful farmers… no war, no guns, no running – which was great because by this time I was married to a wonderful Kenyan woman, and she was pregnant!
It was time to settle down, enjoy life with my wife and kid – and build a website to market all of the fantastic art that I had collected from the many artists I had met in the course of the previous decade. Below you can see some of the artist with whom I work directly. From them, to me, to you. (continued below the gallery)
In life it’s not often that there is a ‘Win-Win-Win’ scenario – but we can make it happen here! You win because you receive a beautiful original painting from an Africa artist at a reasonable price, the artists win because using their skills and talent to make money and provide security (shelter, food, medicine, schooling), for their family is what they live for – ultimately they are the biggest winners. And I win because the small profit I make from the sale of paintings maintains this website by providing funds for the purchase of more paintings from more African artists, hosting services, website upgrades and shipping supplies. Win-Win-Win!
Below: Me with some of my friends, the artists: