The renaissance of contemporary art at Makerere University Art School
Kasule, Kizito Maria
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This study examined whether the 1960’s in relation to the 1950’s and 1970’s were a decade of the renaissance of contemporary art production at Makerere University Art School. The study had three specific objectives: (i.) To examine whether the period of 1960’s in relation to the 1950’s and 1970’s is seen by artists as the decade of the renaissance of contemporary art at Makerere University Art School. (ii.) To find out in which ways the 1960’s in relation to the 1950’s and 1970’s were a decade of the art of cultural consciousness among artists at Makerere Art School. (iii.) To find out how the different art teaching practices of both Margaret Trowell and Cecil Todd affected the growth of the art cultural consciousness at Makerere University Art School in 1960s. An exploratory survey design with both qualitative and quantitative procedures was used to gather data on 91 participants picked using purposive sampling. Qualitative data was analyzed using content analysis and quantitative data using percentages. The majority of the participants reported that the 1960’s in relation to the 1950’s and 1970’s were a decade of the renaissance of contemporary art at Makerere Art School. However, this renaissance had its origin in the 1950’s, reaching its maturity in the 1960’s. It was found out that despite the divergences in the art teaching practices of Cecil Todd and Margaret Trowell their teachings had a positive impact on the development of the art of cultural consciousness at Makerere Art School in the 1960s. The political independence movements of the 1960’s in Africa, the presence of different art students of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds, the presence of experienced and highly trained art teachers, and the availability of art materials stimulated the production of culturally conscious art at Makerere during the 1960’s. It was recommended that future scholars on art focus studies on the art productions of Makerere from the 1930’s to the 1940’s and from the 1980’s to the present. Further studies on the influence of politics, religion, and economics to the development of visual arts at Makerere should be done. Future researchers should look at other forms of art, which have not been included in this study. Future researchers should also focus their efforts towards finding out how contemporary art can be made more culturally conscious at Makerere in particular and Uganda in general in the 20th and 21st Centuries.