Contemporary Ethiopian Paintings and Art
As the first art gallery in Ethiopia, St George has played an important role in encouraging and supporting Ethiopian artists. Prior to the opening of St. George in 1991, art exhibits were restricted to special one or two week exhibits at the various cultural centers in the city and there were no permanent venues for artists to display their works. St George provided a location where many of the most important Ethiopian artists could display and sell their works. The success of St George encouraged other entrepreneurs and there are now more than a dozen galleries in Addis Ababa and artists command significantly higher prices than they did even 10 years ago.
Ethiopian art is renown throughout the African art world for its rich history stretching back hundreds of years. Initially all art was church based but by the 20th century Ethiopian artists began to deal with other topics and themes. Although Ethiopian art now displays a vast variety of styles, the Orthodox religion still plays, in one way or another, a prominent part in many contemporary Ethiopian paintings. Artists like Zerihun Yemegeta and Sameul Sharew often include religious elements in their paintings while other artists like Aeyle Assefa and Naomi Belaynehy paint religious scenes and topics. Other artists like Daniel Taye, Marta Mengistu, Tadessa Mesfin, and Mesgub paint secular topics but still occasionally include religious elements or elements of African culture.
St George Gallery is fortunate to have works from all these artists as well as many more for sale at both the St George Gallery in Addis Ababa and at the new St George Gallery in Old Town, Alexandria Virginia and you are welcome to come in and browse.
“St George Art Gallery also exhibits the works of notable Ethiopian artists, serving as a center for arts in Addis Ababa.” – The Ethiopian Herald