An awesome global collaboration – Kenyan art in Raleigh, NC!

All four of Leah Odero's paintings grouped together at the art exhibit

All four of Leah Odero’s paintings grouped together at the art exhibit

IMPORTANT NOTE: The four paintings will be on display at the December 17th Jamhuri Day Celebration (Sertomoa Art Center Raleigh 5-11PM) coordinated by Raleigh’s Kenyan community and Raleigh Sister Cities. They can be purchased, and we will be having a raffle for one and an auction for another. Link for more information on the Jamhuri Day Celebration.

All paintings are approx. 22 inches by 32 inches

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I have some exciting news to share. As many of you know, I have been involved in community development work in Kenya. You can link here for a short summary of how I got involved in this work, and you can also read my progressive updates about ongoing progress. I posted extensive updates with photos and a video in May and January. Though my partnership with the people of the city of Mtito Andei was announced over five years ago, the work has really taken off since teaming with my new trusted partner and now my pastor (yes, I belong to a progressive open church in Kenya) Rev. Michael Kimindu of Neema Metropolitan Community Church, Mtito Andei, Kenya.

Also about four years ago, I was delighted as a long-time resident of Raleigh, NC, when Raleigh Sister Cities announced its fifth sister city – Nairobi, Kenya. (Use this link to read more about what Sister Cities International is about.) What a wonderful coincidence that confirmed that my focus on Kenya was well chosen. I got involved with the Nairobi sister city committee and then last year the Raleigh City Council appointed me to the Raleigh Sister Cities (link) board of directors.

And in 2016, Raleigh Sister Cities is celebrating our 30th anniversary with a full year of ongoing activities. One of those is an art exhibit with art from the sister cities on exhibition through July at the Betty Ray McCain Art Gallery at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts in Raleigh. (See gallery information at the bottom of this blog below all the photos.)

Hearding by Leah Odero

Hearding by Leah Odero

The exhibit features 51 works created by 17 artists from Raleigh’s sister cities in Nairobi, Kenya, Rostock, Germany, Kingston-upon-Hull, UK; and Compiegne, France. The exhibited works were selected from 135 submissions by co-curators, Lee Hansley, proprietor of Lee Hansley Galleries in Raleigh, and Melissa Peden, a Raleigh art consultant.

When the Nairobi committee was having problems securing suitable art, I sent an urgent message to my community development partner and pastor in Kenya, Michael Kimindu, and through his connections he introduced me to a talented young artist in Nairobi, Leah Odero. She sent me photographs of her paintings, and four were selected for the exhibition. I and my business (Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer) sponsored the shipping of the artwork from Kenya to the USA.

I and my business are delighted to be one of the exhibit's sponsors

I and my business are delighted to be one of the exhibit’s sponsors

On June 3, I was given a private tour of gallery since I was not able to attend the opening, and including in this update are several wonderful photos. Also, all four pieces of Leah’s art are for sale, and it would great to sell them and send Leah the cash instead of shipping the art back to her. You can email, [email protected], for info and pricing, and the art can be yours after the exhibition ends later in July!

I am so pleased at how this international collaboration has worked so well and how special gifts like art that enrich all our lives can be shared globally.
Group 1
Group 2A
Group 3
The Betty Ray McCain Art Gallery is in the lobby of the Meymandi Concert Hall at Raleigh’s Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. The gallery is open prior and during events at the Meymandi Concert Hall. Link to events schedule.