Artist Profiles

Artist:

Jan John

Region:

Africa

Country:

Botswana

Organization:

Kuru Development Trust

Media/General:

Painting

Medium of Work:

San painting on canvas and linocut prints

Year(s) Attended:

Santa Fe: 2018

About:

Comprised of around 15 artisans, Botswana’sKuru Development Trust is an award-winning creative organization. The art collective was founded in a small village called D’Kar in the early 1990s, with an original goal that continues today: to provide regional African artists with opportunities for creative expression and financial stability.

For thousands of years, the Bushman artists of western Botswana were known for rock paintings, which depicted symbols of Nature and humankind contemporaneous to the times. Today, Kuru Development Trust members incorporate not only the motifs and designs of their ancestors, but also inject their work with themes relevant to modern-day life in southern Africa; this blend of ancient and modern techniques and forward-thinking expression extends to the mission of theKuru Development Trust. The project provides learning opportunities like instruction in online marketing, art materials, and artmaking instruction. This multi-pronged approach provides group members with the skills necessary to innovate artistically, and also ensures they are equipped to work across a variety of platforms, both online and in stores.

Today, Kuru Development Trust’s members come from the Naro and Dcui San groups, and many were born and raised in the region most famously associated with Southern Africa’s sprawling Kalahari desert. Artwork created includes a number of methods from dry point engraving and printmaking to finely wrought oil paintings on canvas backgrounds.