It’s been said that the earth without art is just meh. That sounds like a world we wouldn’t want to live in. Lucky for us we don’t have to. Nairobi city is anything but meh. The vibrant culture attracts international and domestic wanting to catch the sights and sounds of the cosmopolitan city. Most will want to see wildlife, the historical sites and enjoy the nightlife. Often ignored however is the art scene. When was the last time you visited art galleries in Nairobi?
Part of Nairobi’s appeal is the creative and innovative art by Kenyan artists, Kenyan photographers and Kenyan painters. While Nairobi’s art scene could be bigger and better, it has grown over the years and we now boast of several art galleries in Nairobi. On this post, Yululate is listing some of the best art galleries in Nairobi as well as art spaces. These art galleries have collections and often exhibit works from talented artists from Kenya and many more artists from and around East Africa.
Banana Hill, located north of village Market, recently celebrated their 25th anniversary. Seeing as they’ve been around for quite a while, they are top on the list of the art galleries in Nairobi you should see. The gallery has the largest collection of contemporary African art. They have over seventy artists ranging from painters to sculptors from all over East Africa. All the pieces from their artists are featured on their website alongside their profiles. You also have the option of buying their art online.
The studio started out as a communal space for artists to create, experiment and interact with other artists but has turned into one of the top art galleries in Nairobi. The gallery is home to some paintings from talented artists like prolific painter Remy Musimi. Musimi and other artists exhibited at the gallery have interesting ideas and often address Kenya’s social issues in their works. Check out the gallery located along Uhuru road for some unique pieces.
Curator and director Carol Lees started One Off after she realized there was a growing interest in art works from East Africa. The art gallery is located in 16, Rosslyn Lone Tree Estate, off Limuru Road. As the name suggests they host contemporary and tribal from Kenyan artists as well as artists from Uganda, Sudan, Rwanda and Tanzania.
It is among the few art galleries in Nairobi that has exhibition openings every month (last Saturday of every month except for December). They are open Tuesday to Sunday from 1.am to 5pm. Check out some of the exclusive works from their artists on their website.
Art Space Kenya is one of those gems most people do not know about. They are missing out on one of the most impressive art galleries in Nairobi. This lesser known, yet awesome art is located on Riverside Drive near the Australian High Commission. Their most recent exhibition, Bar Conversations by Alex Njoroge and Mosoti Kepha was highly reviewed. Other popular exhibitions at the gallery include Nairobi Re-Viewed by Kenyan photographer Osborne Macharia and Boniface Maina’s Line of Inquiry.
The GoDown Center, located in Nairobi’s industrial area, is a creative space where talented artists are nurtured. The institution has sponsored several programs that bring together artists in different fields from different parts ff the world. They have several studios for artists who want to work, offices for meetings and space for performers. Their art gallery has been the venue for many exhibitions over the years where painters, sculptors and even photographers showcase their works. There is also a restaurant so you can grab something to eat while you are there.
The Souk was created by a collection of Kenyan artists and houses unique collections of paintings, jewelry, leather work, photographic works and so much more. If you are looking for something unique for yourself or as a gift for someone else then you need to head out to Karen and check out The Souk. It’s worth it.
Home to thousands of visual artists, Kuona Trust is one of the art galleries in Nairobi that has been around for decades and is still very popular for its collection of different artworks. They have several events all though the year including art fairs where paintings are showcased and put up for sale as well as art workshops for kids where they are taught art. Check out their calendar here for exhibition dates as well as directions to the gallery.
We hope that the next time you are looking for activities to do in Nairobi or events to attend you will check out these art galleries in Nairobi. You can also find individual artists on our website so search for them and review their work on their profiles on Yululate. Let us know of other art galleries in Nairobi you think are awesome on the comments section below.