The Art work above shows my Visit experience in the USA and the canvas is made in Uganda by Tusiime Matthias innovations, this canvas is one of a kind in Uganda.
Kindly follow me am planning to make a pamphlet out of my life experiences
Joyce R Gottelieb from USA, Los Angeles, California Donates Art Materials to UCASDR
I had the joy of meeting
Joyce R Gottelieb and the husband while they were volunteering in Uganda Kampala
for six weeks in November 2008.
Joyce is an Art
Lover and collector. She studied art history in graduate school.
Joyce and the Husband were the chief Guests and Organizers together with Uganda
Art consortium at my Art show at Shadravan Art Gallery in Oakland,
California USA on 2nd August 2013.
Since 2008 Joyce has been
promoting my talent by sending me art materials and has been my great
supporter during my two trips to the United states.
Her support inspired me
to develop the idea of starting a project called Uganda community Art skills
Development and Recycling (UCASDR) to provide free skills to unprivileged
people in the communities of Uganda.
I decided to give back to the community because of the support others have given
me as a self taught Artist.
Uganda community Art
skill Development and Recycling(UCASDR) is now supported by sales from my Art
works and well wishers who donate Art materials plus a group of volunteers who
teach the children.
The program provides
Basic skills to empower the communities and trains in Local languages such that
Therefore I thank Joyce
for her kind heart, great support, and the humanitarian work she has done for
the community in Uganda.
from the U.S. who travel to a developing country on a volunteer assignment,
always seem to eventually change their profile photo on a social media site, to
some picture of them holding a beautiful child, which inevitably gets a million
“likes” from friends.
group here has coined this the stereotypical “I have gone to Africa” picture,
that we have aimed to avoid at all costs for fear of becoming those
stereotypical Americans ourselves—the ones who people assume are just abroad
for their CV or so that they can have something to write about in their
Uganda, as the lens is pointed at me, I realize that maybe we have judged these
people too harshly.
pictures that I have taken on this trip have become a treasured reminder of
instances in which I have had some of the most moving experiences of my entire
life. They capture eyes full of innocence and genuine happiness; two things
that seem to be non-existent back home. They allow me to reflect on the world
this entry, I would like to share one particular experience.
consider my travels extensive for a 21-year-old girl, my eyes are widening in Kampala.
I am seeing things I have only studied or read in newspapers—the poverty and
conditions that I believe that no human being should be subjected to. May 31st was
probably one of the best days of my life.
spent the day with a local artist named Mathias Tusiime, who is a good friend of our
director and who interestingly enough, did an exposition of his work at the
University of Florida. Tusiime’s story is inspirational in itself. He is
actually the janitor at Makerere University and began his art career while
director says that he used to scrap off the leftover paint that students would
leave on their easels in order to do his work. Now, he’s a world-famous Ugandan
took us to a market where many vendors were selling live animals, fruits and
vegetables, among many other things. I would compare it to a very large flea
market in the U.S.
back, I realize that we had absolutely no idea of what we were getting ourselves
into when we set out. Our director had told us that we were going to an
art-workshop with Tusiime. In my head this meant some expo/gallery type setting
in a humble yet chic room. Upon arrival to the market, we could see that the
conditions were very rough. There was a putrid smell, garbage, flies, and at
one point I saw a lady changing her baby on top of the same table where she had
her vegetables to sell. It was unsanitary to say the least.
introduced to a man named Roger, took some pictures, and still at that point
were largely oblivious to what was to come. He took us thru the market and we
turned a corner. Out of no-where appeared 50+ small children in a small shack
who immediately swarmed us.
were the most precious children I have ever seen. “Muzungu!”** they cried with
smiling faces. We were a bit startled and overwhelmed—not only by the setting,
the number of kids, but also by the great contrast between the level of poverty
and how happy they were to see us. Their clothes were dirty and torn, evidently
donated by someone back in the states.
a wave of compassion mixed with guilt pass over me. I had the strong desire to
strip myself naked and replace their worn clothing with my own. I kept digging
in my bag, hoping that I would have something to pray upon and multiply for
these wonderful souls. Even though they asked for nothing from me, I wanted to
give immensely. I was at a loss for words.
found out that our mission was to conduct an art class and facilitate their
creativity. It was during this time spent with the children that I gained such
an in-depth appreciation of how I have been blessed, as well as an intense
understanding of something as simple as a pencil sharpener. After being given a
small blade with sharp edges on all sides to sharpen pencils, I soon cut my
hand and started bleeding. At this moment, I started to shake with panic. The
world, the cut, the blade, inequality, my own inadequacies at a simple task–all
of pandora’s box seemed to open up in that shack and surrounded me.
ran out to get bandaids, clean water to flush it out, but I continued. Somehow,
all the pencils got sharpened. We introduced ourselves to the children and a
topic to draw–their family. What I soon noticed is that none of them started to
draw. I decided to take another approach, to draw something myself to get them
started. I drew a simple square house and palm tree, feeling ashamed I had not
been blessed with my brother’s artistic talents. Little did I know that all 50+
children would draw exactly the same thing as me–most of them in higher quality
and with much more ability. One by one they would come up and show me their
achievement. “Muzungu”–they would come with lit eyes holding up their art.
ooooo and ahhhhhh non-stop, recognizing their talent and showing it to the rest
of the group. They loved my approval as much as I loved the fact that they
respected me enough to want to receive it from me. In all, we took a bunch of
pictures and there was an ambiance of love in the air. By the end of
sharpening, instruction, drawing and painting, I was exhausted but in the most
positive way. Little did I give, but so much was given to me by these
children–their warmth, creativity, hope, innocence, and joy. While having so
little, they had much more than many wealthy and I felt that their energy had
rubbed off on me. I forgot my personal trials, the depression I have been
struggling with since my mom died, any confusion. I left these children with
all weight lifted from my shoulders and much inspiration for my future.
of very little, I have a glow, I feel rejuvenated and after a very long time, I
actually have joy in my spirit.
Mathias conducts these workshops every week in an area which is known for
having a high percentage of delinquency. He hopes to use the arts as an outlet
for those struggling in the community, and hopes to show them a different way
out. I have the utmost respect for him and Roger, who works with the children.
These are two amazing people.