BACKGROUND OF COSDEF ARTS AND CRAFT CENTRE
In 2009, COSDEF introduced the National Arts and Craft Project in Swakopmund. COSDEF Arts & Crafts Centre serves as a selling and value-added outlet for arts and craft products produced at COSDECs and from local producers around the country. In November 2014 the Arts & Crafts Centre’s new building was inaugurated, sponsored by MCA – Namibia. The Centre now offers a range of short and long courses in art and craft development as well hosting its very own Namibian Craft Collection Shop & Gallery. The Centre also offers Conference & Theatre facilities, Restaurant, Catering services & Food stalls and several established Craft shops and SME Incubation units.
The Arts & Crafts Centre has 11 staff members and a Peace Corps Volunteer assisting with business development.
- Jewellery Design & Manufacturing L2
- Jewellery Design & Manufacturing L3
- Fashion Design & Accessories L2
- Visual Art, Craft & Design L2
- Leather Craft & Design L2
- Graphic Design L2
- Intro to Computer Graphics: Adobe Illustrator
- Intro to Computer Graphics: Adobe Photoshop
- Intro to Fashion Design: Beginners, Intermediate, Advanced
- Basic Leather Craft
‘Namibian Fair Gems Jewellery and Artefacts Competition’
The competition took place on 27 September 2018 at the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre –(FNCC) in Windhoek, and was held to bring awareness to the Coloured Gemstone Industry in Namibia and to create a value chain so value addition is implemented on Namibian soil and not overseas, which is currently happening. The main aim was to bring awareness to the small miners, the cutting & polishing processes of gemstones and the Jewellery manufacturing & design. It was funded by MITSMED, GIZ, Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Jewellery Association of Namibia (JASSONA) to name a few.
Jacob Shingenge, one of our Jewellery Design and Manufacturing trainees, obtained 3rd place in the competition and was the only student to get a place in the top 10. 28 Jewellers/Goldsmiths entered the competition so it was a great honour that he scooped the 3rd prize with his innovative ‘Sunflower’ piece. The coloured gem stone used in the sunflower piece was a smoky quartz and was cut and polished by fellow student, Leroy Nangolo. Bianca Skutsch also submitted a piece called ‘Big 5’, which was a bottle opener with the big five and a tiger eye coloured gem. A special thanks to Mr. Ivan Mercer the Jewellery Manufacturing Trainer who inspires his students to always ‘think out of the box’ and to be innovative.
COSDEF Arts and Craft Centre (CACC) is very proud of our 3 students’ achievements. They are the positive future of the centre and showcased the great courses being developed and implemented at the COSDEF Arts & Crafts CENTRE here is Swakopmund. They are all presently enrolled in our Jewellery Manufacturing and Design Level 2 and Level 3 courses. It is a 2-year program which on completion is equivalent to a 1-year apprenticeship in goldsmithing and leads to self-employment and formal employment in the Jewellery and Coloured Gem Industries. CACC is working closely with all our stakeholders in the Industry and JASSONA is assisting us with the formulation and structure of the qualification, curriculums and study guides for quality assurance of the programs. This course is 1 of 6 courses which will be implemented at the COSDEF Arts & Crafts Centre in 2019.
Mural Project week with Edeltraut Rath bringing creativity to COSDEF
The stylish beautiful COSDEF Arts & Crafts Centre (CACC) was built and completed in 2014 through funding from MCA (Millennial Challenge Account) an American initiative. Even though it is a beautiful building it does not always talk to the public about what goes on within the walls.
Arts and Crafts are being taught and created by innovative Namibians who through the CACC are given the opportunity to gain skills in various areas of the creative Industries like: Jewellery Design and Manufacturing; Fashion Design & Accessories; Visual Arts, Crafts & Design; Leather Craft & Design; Graphic Design and Sound & Stage Technician. All trainees are also taught Entrepreneurship, English and Numeracy. Design & Business skills are taught throughout all technical training, linking the 2 elements so it can be implemented in real life!
The centre is also located outside of the town centre and so it is a struggle to bring the tourist feet to feed the income generating projects currently being found there.
In 2017 I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Mrs. Edeltraut Rath and saw her work on the walls of the Augustineum Secondary School and watched how she worked with the College of the Arts (COTA) students, creating the mural ‘Festival of Diversity’.
The idea was born to paint a mural on the CACC as a joint project with CACC and COTA Students and requesting Mrs. Rath to part her expertise with our Trainers/lecturers and students on design, idea generation, colour combination and execution of a mural. The intended outcome for the centre, being to show the public the innovation and creativity to be found within and to generate interest so tourist can stop and visit the centre. To bring exposure, market opportunities and Art to the centres walls.
With the help of SES (Senior Expertise Service); The German Embassy of Namibia, the National Arts Council of Namibia and WB Hardware Supplies the 3 week project was realized and started on the 1st August 2018.
The project was a fun innovative time for all involved. It generated much exposure through traffic on the highway, newspaper articles and exposure for the young Artists themselves. The creative patterns depicted on the walls of the CACC represent so much of African and Namibian life and capture the Diversity of the cultures which make Namibia the amazing vibrant but peaceful place it is.
A special thank you to Mrs. Edeltraut Rath for sharing her talent and powerful positive energy with us. Her most important lesson was to follow the design brief and work as a team through thick and thin, or freezing conditions. In my point of view most artists are very individual in vision and methods and struggle to collectively work alongside others to create a group project. She taught all around her that team work and consideration to the mural design was imperative for the overall design to work. That colour consideration is vital and it was only after seeing the mural start to evolve could some of us understand her vision and why less is more.
On completion of the project we have seen an increase of interest and feet to the centre and we feel our walls are starting to tell our story….from the outside to within….