Artists-in-Residence add to the beauty of Gibb’s Farm

Written by Thomson Safaris

Robert Aswani painting at Gibb’s Farm

Travelers almost universally adore their time at Gibb’s Farm. A luxurious retreat nestled in the heart of the Ngorongoro Highlands, Gibb’s Farm has stunning views in every direction, charming cottage rooms that offer a personal getaway, and meals worth writing home about…and drooling over.

One of the most unique features of Gibb’s Farm is its long-running artist-in-residence program. Each year, the staff invites a group of talented East African artists to live on premises, create their art in dedicated studios, and produce pieces specially for Gibb’s Farm’s collection.

Visitors can meet the artists, learn about their histories, and purchase favorite works without ever leaving the property.

In 2016, the following artists will be featured as part of Gibb’s Farm Artists-in-Residence Program:

Feb 27 – Apr 06: Batromeo Jomeke
Apr 07 – May 27: Past Gibb’s artists-in-residence
May 28 – Jul 6: Francis Imanjama
Jul 07 – Aug 15: Riziki Kateya
Aug 16 – Sep 24: Robert Aswani
Sep 25 – Nov 03: Lutengano Mwakisopele
Nov 04 – Dec 06: Past Gibb’s artists-in-residence
Dec 07 – Jan 15, 2017: Athuman Katongo


Learn a bit more about some of this year’s most exciting East African artists before you go:

Riziki Kateya

gibb's farm artist in residence Riziki Kateya

Riziki Kateya is not only one of few female artists to achieve renown in the East African art scene, she’s the first Tanzanian to achieve international recognition for the quality of her botanical illustrations. Several of her watercolor paintings of local wildflowers and birds can be found in cottages and public areas around Gibb’s Farm. Her work with the Saintpaulia Project—which involved strenuous expeditions into the cloud forest, where Kateya painted rare endangered species of African violet—helped promote conservation and sustainable ecotourism.

Best known for her watercolors of indigenous plant and bird species, Kateya also loves to explore different subjects—including mammals and landscapes—as well as other media.

artwork from Riziki Kateya, a Gibb's Farm artist-in-residence. Top (left to right): Kahawa coffee, Spathodea Campanulata, Hibiscus flower
Bottom (left to right): detail of Kahawa coffee, detail of Spathodea Campanulata, detail of Hibiscus flower


Robert Aswani

gibb's farm artist in residence Robert Aswani

Born in western Kenya, Robert Aswani’s bright, lively scenes have been a favorite of Gibb’s visitors for years (Aswani was one of the pioneers of the artist-in-residence program and has been asked back multiple times).

It’s easy to see why. Market scenes are a favorite subject for Aswani, who paints with a unique blend of acrylic paint and watercolor ink. Vivid colors and a sense of kinetic motion inject his work with an almost palpable joy.

paintings by Robert Aswani, Gibb's Farm artist-in-residenceVillage Ladies (left), Shamba (right)


Athuman Katongo

gibb's farm artist in residence Athuman Katongo

Katongo began his career by hand-painting and silk-screening the bright, beautiful batik fabrics that have been a fashion staple among East African women for decades. Following an apprenticeship with a Canadian papermaker, however, he turned to different art forms, exploring the possibilities of natural paper materials, fibers, and fabrics.

His unique artwork takes many forms, from handmade books and bags, to more traditional drawings and paintings. It’s received widespread attention throughout the country, enough so that Katongo was asked to represent Tanzania at the International Peace through Tourism event in 2007, held in Malaysia.

artwork from Athuman Katongo, Gibb's Farm artist-in-residenceTembo (left), Water Shortage (top), Simba (bottom)