The ArtLife Gallery & Gift Shop and Sanctuary Café

The Artlife shop at the Gallery

One of the values of this institute is diversity and the National Gallery of Zimbabwe tries to be diverse by offering different things to its public. The National Gallery of Zimbabwe does not only focus on exhibitions. It also offers a wide range of art related products through its Artlife shop.  The ArtLife Shop offers a wide range of art products and these are: ceramics, sculpture, paintings, textiles, jewellery, books, artefacts, design and other authentic gifts. These products are usually sold based on their relevance to exhibitions, the time of year, or special events.Brower (2004) states that gallery shops are usually shopping destinations, however it is likely that visitors will enter the shop as part of their gallery experience. The Gallery shop also plays a vital role in blurring the borders between commerce and art noted with how the institution generates a lot of its revenue from the shop which can be of use in supporting upcoming exhibitions and a wide range of programming.

The Artlife Gallery shop has an interesting collection of books that are for sale. These range from biographies for example 90 Robert Gabriel Mugabe photo biography of the Former president of Zimbabwe, to wide range of novels such as They are coming by Christopher Mlalazi, and Izintomi zamatshe ezimsulwa by Yvonne Vera. There are also poetry books and documentary themed books. The National Gallery of Zimbabwe recently published a book titled Zimbabwe Art which is available at the shop. The book features a number of artworks by Zimbabwean artists accompanied by pictures of their artworks. Magazines such as the Zim artist are available for purchase at an affordable price. A lot of jewelleries, t shirts, sculptures and paintings are handmade by local artists and entrepreneurs. Most of the works are inspired by the African culture and the Zimbabwean Heritage. Artworks by artists such as Alex Kapondera and Thomas Sagomba are available for purchase and these are usually paintings. These paintings are influenced by the artist’s surrounding area. Most visitors are interested in small keepsakes such as postcards and notecards and jewellery. Books on Zimbabwean art and jewellery tend to sell well too. This way the Gallery shop get to play a vital role in blurring the borders between commerce and art noted with how the institution generates a lot of its revenue from the shop which can be of use in supporting upcoming exhibitions and a wide range of programming.

The shop tries to support upcoming independent jewellery designers, established and recognised artists, aspiring artists, sculptors, and authors. It plays a substantial role as it another subsidiary way of generating revenue to support the Gallery’s programmes. It also plays an important role in enhancing the visitor’s experience of the National Gallery by lengthening awareness of the Gallery’s collection. The shop caters for art collectors, shop owners, individual buyers, children, art students, and art fanatics. The Sales and marketing department is responsible for the packaging, and selling of these at time it organises shipment to anywhere in the world.

The Sanctuary café

Julia Child, a famous American chef once said “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces, just good food from fresh ingredients”. The Sanctuary café and wine bar ensures that it provides its customers with food made from fresh ingredients. From their samosas to brownies and cakes, all these are freshly baked each and every morning. The Sanctuary café overlooks the Sculpture garden which is near the Harare gardens. Centred in the heart of the Harare city, the Sanctuary café provides the best spot for a lunch or dinner date, and with soothing music playing in the background loosens up the atmosphere. The shop sells a variety of food ranging from brownies to cakes of different flavours, hot beverages such a tea and coffee, a wide selection of wine. This accommodates everyone who visits the café. There is also WIFI access making it easy for those who want to research while grabbing their lunch.

The Sanctuary café also hosts different fun evening events such as Open Mic which occurs every Wednesday. Open Mic is an event in which different artists and poets. The number of people who attend these has been increasing each and every month. These have been occurring for a year now. The Gallery uses this café to host fun and engaging shows to the public.

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