Messages Of Rwandan Women Artists #EACHFOREQUAL

Location: Rwanda Art Museum – Kanombe
Open: May 18th 2020 – July 17th 2020

Entrance Fee (Frw):

Adults: 1500
Students: 700

Adults: 3000
Students: 1000

Adults: 5000
Students: 700

Adults: 6000
Students: 3000

The exhibition “Messages of Rwandan Women Artists: #EachforEqual is showcasing a total of 79 artworks; of which 14 are digital works and 65 are physical works (7 are physical museum works and 58 physical works are not from the museum) by 38 women artists (including 2 who make up Isheja Art Group).

In the art world, women have never been treated equally as their male counterparts and today they remain underrepresented in museums and galleries. And this is the case in the Rwandan art scene where Rwandan women have been involved in art making throughout history but their work was dismissed as craft and it took 35 years for them to access formal art education. Today, majority of prominent Rwandan visual artists are men; and shockingly, women’s representation in Rwanda Art Museum currently is at 8% only.

After seeing this underrepresentation and the need for the visibility of women artists, Rwandan women artists in partnership with Institute of National Museums of Rwanda and Goethe Institut collaborated to organize a three months group exhibition under the theme “MESSAGES OF RWANDAN WOMEN ARTISTS- EACH FOR EQUAL” showcasing the works of living and deceased Rwandan women artists and international women artists living and working in Rwanda at Rwanda Art Museum -Kanombe.

This exhibition was to be launched on this year’s International Women’s Day but because of the lockdown measures to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus, the launch was postponed to May 18th, 2020 which was International Museums Day celebrated under the theme “Museum for Equality: Inclusion and Diversity”. The theme perfectly matched with the #EachForEqual theme Rwandan Women artists had chosen for their group exhibition.

This exhibition features 38 women artists from all generations, and their artworks reflect different media forms and cover different subjects.

This exhibition portrays how women ceased to be confined in the narrow role of creating decorative art and crafts and found ways to explore the challenges of the world without complaisance. For instance, contemporary artists like Crista Uwase, Angela Ilibagiza Bayijahe Nyirankuliza, Mukankuranga Jeanne, Muhawenimana Emilienne, Christiane Mukagatare use delicate materials often categorized as “Crafts” like thread, paper, sisal fibers to make “Art”.