The capital city of Zambia has had an art scene since the 1970s, with galleries in the central business district that led to more contemporary spaces to view art being created. If you’re an art lover visiting Lusaka, take a look at our guide to the best places to see art when in town.
The Lusaka National Museum is a great place to start exploring Zambian art. Located in the Kamwala area of Lusaka, the top floor of the museum is dedicated to the pre- and post-independence history of Zambia, while the ground floor has contemporary paintings and sculpture. It is also used as a space for temporal themed exhibitions such as the all-female Kuboneshago exhibition. Entrance fees are USD$5 for international adults and USD$3 for children.
Henry Tayali was one of Zambia’s best-known painters and sculptors. The Henry Tayali Gallery was named in his honor and opened in 1995 on Lion Lane in the Showgrounds. The gallery mostly displays painting and sculpture through temporal exhibitions, including the work of the artist. There is usually no entrance fee, unless otherwise stated on special exhibition launch days. All art displayed is available for sale. On Saturdays, there are weekend art classes in drawing, sculpture, painting and ceramics.
The stART Foundation was created in 2011 by Pamela Chan in her private residence at 37D Middleway Road in the suburbs of Kabulonga to promote the visual arts practice and visual arts education through exhibitions by upcoming and established artists. Artists that have had solo exhibitions include Starry Mwamba, Agness Buya Yombwe, David Makala and more. In line with the mission of the foundation, stART occasionally hosts children’s workshops with established artists serving as mentors. The children’s art is then sold at exhibitions. There is no entrance fee.
The Radisson Blu hotel in Lusaka has converted a tunnel within its premises into an art gallery called Temwani which opened in February 2018. The art space features work by upcoming artists like Nukwase Tembo, and more established ones like Victor Makashi among others. The Temwani gallery will hold three solo exhibitions a year, as well as hosting discussions on exhibited art.
Modzi Arts is a contemporary arts space dedicated to providing a platform for amateur and professional creatives to develop and present their work. Previous exhibitions that have taken place at Modzi include Teeth And Tongue featuring works by artists David Tempelhoff and Geoffrey Phiri, as well as live paintings and more. Beyond displaying art, Modzi Arts also affords visitors an opportunity to meet exhibiting artists in person through their ‘Artist Talks’ events and panel discussions. Exhibitions and panel discussions are free.
Zeela Art Gallery
Like Namwandwe, the Zeela Art Gallery displays art from personal collectors. The Salasini family opened their home in New Kasama, Lusaka to the public in 2017 to showcase their 15-year collection which ranges from 140 paintings to wood and stone sculptures. Artists whose work features prominently in the gallery include Flinto Chanda, William Miko, Caleb Chisha among others. Zeela Art Gallery also runs an artist-in-residency program that culminates into an exhibition. Entrance is free.
Chaminuka Lodge has one of the largest private collections of Zambian art which was collected by its founder Andrew Sardonis. Paintings, metal work and sculpture are placed throughout the lodge’s public spaces including the library as well as the suites. The estimated 1,000-piece collection features works by Henry Tayali and more.
The Lechwe Trust was founded by Cynthia Zukas in 1986 to preserve works of Zambian art that she has been collecting since the 1960s. The collection features more than 300 works of art including sculptures, paintings, prints and ceramics. Although the vast collection is mostly in storage, selected pieces are currently showcased at the permanent gallery, which recently opened in Gallery Office Park, directly opposite #Social.
Small Works Art Gallery
Just as its name suggests, The Small Works Art Gallery – which is an extension of ‘The Art Shop’ – showcases smaller versions of existing work by established and upcoming artists. All art displayed is available for sale and the gallery hosts several exhibitions a year. The 2018 exhibitions can be seen on their Facebook page.