African Global Networks (AGN)

Arts View

Owusu Ansah Vincent Kwame
Owusu Ansah Vincent Kwame (aka Citizenkwame)

Painting with Passion - Citizenkwame

Hailing from Kumasi in the Ashanti region of Ghana, ‘Owusu Ansah Vincent Kwame’ (aka Citizenkwame) says it all started when he was a child. He was fascinated by the works that a local artist (Mama Adomah) in his village would produce. Even though he was only 8 years old he found himself inexplicably drawn to her work.

While other children were playing Kwame would go and spend time observing what Mama Adomah was doing.

Over time a friendship developed and Mama Adomah would give the young but highly inquisitive Kwame materials so that he could explore his own creativity. There wasn’t a teacher pupil relationship between them as such and he never received any form of structured training from her, but through observation and interaction Kwame discovered he had a natural talent.

Sadly Mama Adomah passed away while he was still trying to find himself as an artist. However, his efforts hadn’t gone unnoticed and it was Mama Adomah’s family that insisted Kwame pick up the baton. He was encouraged to use her space and materials and was never asked for anything in return.

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Kwame says for him, being an artist is all about passion and that he is happiest when he is painting. Regardless of how simple or complex a piece may be, pouring your heart and soul into the work is what enables it to become something more than an expression of creativity.

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To this day he has never received any formal or structured training in art, however, he is of the view that nobody knows everything and that there is always room for improvement. Whenever the opportunity avails itself he likes to assist or work with other artists. This helps him to learn and develop through observation and interaction.

He feels the biggest challenge he faces as an artist is the attitude people have to art in Ghana. He feels the value placed on art is not commensurate with the talent and effort that goes into producing good works of art.

He says “people don’t generally encourage their children to become artists”. However, he thinks things are slowly beginning to change. He cites the fact that people can see art displayed on walls in people’s homes in movies and that this has an impact on changing perceptions about art and its desirability.

When asked what change he would like to see regarding art in Ghana he cites parents encouraging their children to do art.  His long term goal is to simply keep creating artistic works in the hope that they will have a positive impact on the people who see them.

When asked what advice he would give to anyone considering pursuing a career in art he says “give your all”!

African Global Networks (AGN) – July 2019

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