The term public art refers to art that is in the public realm, regardless of whether it is situated on public or private property or whether it has been purchased with public or private money.
It is also very important because it adds enormous value to the cultural, aesthetic and economic vitality of a community. It is now a well-accepted principle of urban design that public art contributes to a community’s identity, fosters community pride and a sense of belonging, and enhances the quality of life for its residents and visitors.
In Namibia this is hardly the case, but ENK Institute for Public Art which is a non-profit organization that is made up of architects and creatives is trying to change this narrative and explore the wonders of public art in our communities.
“We maintain, present, commission and promote public art in Namibia, ENK brings art into everyday spaces across Namibia,” said Emmanuel Enkara, Creative Director at ENK Institute for Public Art.
Enkara further added that they have already reached out to some private and public institutions
like the City of Windhoek (COW) Municipality who have shown eagerness to work with them.
“We only act as agents and we have received proposals from some institutions, but because of the pandemic, some projects have been moved back,” he said.
Furthermore Enkara says that public art can certainly directly influence our tourism sector, by creating beautiful artistic structures and adding attractive colors around our country. “We believe Namibia is an open canvas, we will almost instantly invite tourists to experience something new and creative,” Enkara said.
ENK Institute of Public Art is also looking into improving the state of our neglected riverbeds. “These areas have been a gathering area for troublesome activities so adding creativity and safety to neglected areas are two of our main objectives,” Enkara concluded.
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