Following artistic study tours to over 15 countries around the world, Collin Sekajugo returned to Rwanda in early 2007 with a mission to “USE ART TO CHANGE LIVES.”
Over the last 6 years, these words have become more than a credo for the self-taught artist, who dedicated himself to founding and directing Ivuka Arts, the first contemporary arts center in Rwanda. Ivuka is committed to building community through the arts by providing promising young artists the skills, platform, and exposure through which they may blossom as Rwanda’s next generation of cultural entrepreneurs and ambassadors.
In Uganda, where he was born in 1980, Collin Sekajugo founded the Weaver Bird Community for the Arts, where he works with artists from all over East Africa to transform a once very poor village a little outside Masaka town into the first of its kind: a community for the arts and a community tourism hub for East Africa. Weaver Bird’s major objective is to bridge the gap between the arts and community.
Within the first two years of its inception, Weaver Bird Arts Community has made huge strides in terms of community development by opening the first public sculpture park in East Africa, Camp Ndegeya Sculpture Park, which is now home to multiple sculptures done by regional artists. Weaver Bird also established an international artists residency program, run in a brick house that was built by the founder himself. In addition to this, the Ndege Ya Akili community arts centre brings together local youth under one roof to learn or develop artistic skills which may eventually create jobs that provide for them and their families. Last but not least, Sekajugo started the COCHICO community children’s library that aims to promote early literacy within the village.
Sekajugo’s own artwork reflects his social conscience; the link between art and community and the desire for social transformation in Africa. Sekajugo has travelled extensively throughout Africa, Europe and North America to participate in international artists’ conferences, workshops and residencies through which he is steadily gaining global recognition. His artwork holds the distinction of being displayed in various public and corporate collections and has been featured in different galleries in East Africa, South Africa, Japan and now in Europe and the USA.
Sekajugo will be travelling to Barcelona, Spain in February 2016 to take up residency at JIWAR.