Empowering women in art industry

Art in Kenya has always been widely perceived as a male-dominated field despite a few women having ventured into the field.
There are a number of women who are involved in art across the country but due to several challenges, they are not recognized in the society.
For instance, Catherine Mwangi an artist in Nakuru has been involved in various fine artist works involving paintings to come up with fine art work.
When I meet her at the ongoing 3 months art exhibition at the National Library Nakuru Branch, she narrates that she has passion for fine art despite the many challenges.
‘Cathy arts’ as she is best known by her customers is an expert in portraits, African arts among other art work.
“I am a fine artist and I normally sign under my work as Cathy arts. I do portraits, African arts and any other paintings that a customer would want” she narrates.
To prove that indeed she is an expert in the sector, Cathy as we proceed with our conversation she continues to fine art a portrait of a tourist who visited and was impressed with her work such that she had to get a job from the tourist to make resemblance portrait.
But art like any other profession has challenges here and there and especially in a society which always views art as male dominated profession.
According to Cathy the major challenge is how to get her products to the market and to get people to know her products.
She also adds that some of the materials such as paints and others are very expensive but of the sake of passion and wanting to have quality product one has just to cope with.
Cathy is among few women who have come out to challenge the society that indeed art can be ventured into by any gender and achieve.
“The major challenge is how to get to sell your products…..we also have an issue with the materials being very expensive but because I love art and I take it seriously I just have to cope up with it. My advice to the ladies is that art pays and all it needs is dedication and commitment” she says.
She now calls on female artists to always come out and showcase their work in the major exhibitions this she adds will give them exposure, visibility and the opportunities for both them and their works to garner useful publicity.
PHOTO/Pristone Mambili:Catherine working on portrait during the ongoing art exhibition at the National Library Nakuru branch.

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