UCU’s new head of art promises to make industry more visible
Originally posted at: https://www.ugandapartners.org/2021/08/ucus-new-head-of-art-promises-to-make-industry-more-visible/
By Eriah Lule
Dr. Eria Nsubuga has always known that being an artist is more than setting pencil to paper, or brush to canvas. He also knows that a new artist uses art to learn and an accomplished one uses art to teach.
Now, an accomplished artist, he is not only teaching art, but leading artists. Nsubuga is the new head of the Department of the Visual Art and Design under the Faculty of Engineering, Design and Technology at Uganda Christian University (UCU).
The 42-year-old has been rewarded with a leadership position with a challenge.
“Ugandan art is something that isn’t given enough visibility,” he said. “That’s why Africa is represented by western and South Africans yet the entire continent is a habitat for art.”
Nsubuga already has ideas up his sleeves on how to start injecting visibility into Ugandan art.
He hopes to influence grants and donations for the department, a development he thinks will open doors for some of his students to further their studies within the field of art. He argues that art in Africa, unlike other disciplines, is not taken as seriously as a scholarly endeavor worthy of major investment in the form of scholarships and grants. Nsubuga says the scholarship he got for his PhD was a partial one.
He holds a practice-based doctorate from the Winchester School of Art, at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom.
Five years ago, from 2011 to 2016, Nsubuga was an ordinary staff of the department he now heads. In 2017, he got the partial scholarship to pursue the PhD course. He completed the doctorate study early this year. Upon his return, UCU found no reward fitter than a promotion.
Nsubuga has practiced art for more than two decades. He has exhibited both as a solo artist and as part of a group since 2002. His works have been exhibited in Germany, the UK, the Netherlands (2003), Greece (2004), Japan (2004), USA (2005), Kenya (2003), Tanzania (2005), New York, U.S. (2017) and in South Africa (2018), among others.
His works have also been published in various prominent journals and magazines, including the African Arts journal in 2017 and the 104th Transition magazine (Harvard University) of 2011, among others.
“Using the exposure I got from different art workshops and exhibitions around the world, I am sure the department is going to build a bridge between the class and the broader field of art,” Nsubuga, a father of two, says.
He intends to enroll soon for a post-doctoral fellowship at the Rhodes University in South Africa.
He has practiced art professionally ever since his undergraduate student days at the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial Fine Art, Makerere University, from 1998 to 2001. Nsubuga was ranked one of the best performing students at undergraduate level, with a CGPA of 4.56 out of 5. He also pursued his master’s in sculptures at Makerere, graduating in 2007.
Nsubuga previously worked with the Rainbow Art Club in 2008 and Naggenda International Academy of Art and Design (NIAAD) in 2009, before switching to academia in 2011.
He is the sixth of eight siblings, born to Samuel and Margaret Sserwanjja of Entebbe, in the central Uganda. All Nsubuga’s siblings were artists, though some decided to venture into other fields.
Nsubugs attended Lake View School for his primary school and King’s College, Budo for his secondary school.
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