The Gumiguru Craft Fair

Craft is an intellectual and physical activity where the maker explores the infinite possibilities of materials and processes to produce unique objects. To see craft is to enter a world of wonderful things which can be challenging, beautiful, useful, and extraordinary to understand

Craft is an intellectual and physical activity where the maker explores the infinite possibilities of materials and processes to produce unique objects. To see craft is to enter a world of wonderful things which can be challenging, beautiful, useful, and extraordinary to understand and enjoy the energy which has gone into their making therefore craft people from all over the country should be able to demonstrate their skill and offer their unique art for sale.
The Gumiguru Craft Fair is the combined work of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe and the National Handicraft Center. This comes after the successful New Basket Workshop of 2011 and the Basket Case II of 2014 exhibition held by the National Gallery of Zimbabwe which saw basket makers team up with artists and designers to offer new design capacity to existing basket weaving projects. This added value to a strong tradition for more opportunities of continuing with art fairs hence paving way for the Gumiguru craft fair.
The Gumiguru Craft Fair will be a two day fair where handicrafts will be sold. A competition for the best display, best design and for consistency will be staged. The fair will commence from the 24th October to the 25th at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.
The Gumiguru Craft Fair will give an opportunity to all crafters to showcase and improve on the existing designs and traditions. It will be a celebration of the country’s long history of craft, while seeking to enrich and stimulate livelihoods of the rural craftsmen and women through handicrafts.
This is because most rural crafters are older women and there is a danger of the traditional crafts dying out. Crafting is a source of income for most rural women and they is need to access markets that are not easily and readily available where they stay. Traditional crafts are time consuming and it takes a while to produce some of the crafts. An annual market will make it easier for them to produce crafts of a substantial amount for them to make meaningful sale. This would promote fair trade by working directly with village artisans and they is a possibility to positively impact the economic development in the neediest areas.
Although the notion of craft has changed its meaning over time, there are still organisms that emphasize its noble role in today’s culture and society which is one the aims the Gumiguru Craft Fair strive to retrieve. There is the  realisation that there are lots of talent in both rural and urban centres which if fully utilised can gainfully occupy  young people who are now engaged in petty larceny as they try to earn a living.

Participation in craft fairs is an efficient way for craft producers to showcase their products to export markets. The advantages include audience concentration, face-to-face communication, the opportunity to assess the competition and the chance to become aware with new business partners.
Crafting materials is significant in the way that it involves a close relationship between craftsmen and client, in order to get the simplest and smartest solutions to the design challenge. A playful and cherished approach involving crafting up experiments, materials, prototypes of work can facilitate and enrich the process of design thinking.
The Gumiguru Craft Fair offer a wide range of skilfully handcrafted works created by artisans who are passionate about their craft. The National Gallery of Zimbabwe is proud to offer the finest traditional Zimbabwean crafts produced using environmentally friendly inputs and processes.
Compared with other methods of selling and promotion, the Gumiguru Craft Fair participation is a useful way for different craft manufacturers to enter into the market. This is because advertising through direct mail, sales literature in the general press and specialist journals, or even adverts on television, are both expensive and relatively untargeted. Without a local partner or agent that the craft-maker can use to distribute stock, direct marketing is also not usually practical for the craft product seller. Another potential advertising tool e-electronic or e-commerce is increasingly accessible, but is not yet a practical proposition for many suppliers because of economic barriers in the country.
By contrast, Gumiguru craft fair seeks to bring artisan entrepreneurs into direct contact with a targeted business agent or distributor who might subsequently take on the role of marketing for the craft business. Also, in the best of all worlds, artisanal products need to be seen and touched so the buyer can appreciate their individual qualities. This conveys the products’ physical uniqueness and quality to the buyer in ways that no amount of advertising can, and has enormous advantages over any one-dimensional or virtual sales situation.
The National Gallery of Zimbabwe remains committed to the safeguarding and promotion of fine and applied arts through the constant achievement and conservation of artwork.

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