"Brush and paints are my instruments. Canvas is my stage, and you are my inspiration."
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Face of Africa
Hand painted planters
If you asked Abu Mwenye about what inspires his many diverse paintings, the journey would begin in his native Tanzania. As a young child, Abu can remember being distracted from his homework by his Uncle who would be the member of the family who possessed skills in art. In fact, there were also members of Abu’s immediate family, his mother Rita, whose art talents also cultivated his interest. Supported and encouraged by his family, Abu began to study and create art. Kanga patterns, Masai warriors, chungu, and shanga (beads) are just some of the images that can be seen in Mwenye’s work. The deep connection the Artist feels to his homeland can clearly be felt.At the same time, Mwenye is able to show viewers the deep connection to his new home. On the 11th of September 2001, Abu had only been a resident in this country a few months. The raw emotions and courage displayed on that day touched his soul. He was not a stranger to witnessing such violence, having seen Somali and Rwandan refugees in his country. It awakened in him the desire to pay tribute and respect to all those involved in Sept. 11, as well as the basic human connection we all share.
Swirling colors and shapes are just some of the things you will find the Mwenye’s abstract artworks. As these works are viewed many things can be found, some based in reality and some from the imagination. The question is what will you see?As an up and coming Worcester artist, Mwenye’s work can also be seen in multiple locations; the Former Worcester African Cultural Center on Canterbury St., Mwenye was responsible for the creation and execution of the mural on the exterior of the W.A.C.C.