Our fifth and final professional artist in this Saturday's Pro-Am Paint Off will be Sironka. Join him and 4 other professional artists as they team up with 5 talented teenagers to create a painting in 3 hours. This will be a live painting event and all are welcome to watch, cheer them on and enjoy the experience.
Sironka sat down to tell us a bit more about himself and gave us some words of wisdom for the future generation of artists below:
What type of artwork do you create?
Batik paintings. Art created on cloth by painting with hot paraffin wax and alternating use of cold water fabric dye. An art-form originating from Indonesia.
What’s your background?
I was born in Kenya, a father of three but unfortunately lost my wife in 2013. ( She died of an aneurism). I am self taught and have painted in this medium for over 26 years! I believe that “Art is society,and society is the ingredient from which art is created!” My work focuses primarily on telling about the Maasai culture. This is the tribe I come from in Kenya.
How has your practice change over time?
I believe that my work has become more detailed in appearance but has continued to celebrate the Maasai culture in content. I have however recently began creating work on our wildlife. This has been very well received and I think I will slowly enhance this composition as this has limitless opportunities for finding buyers of my work!
Here are some progress shots of a piece that Sironka is working on this week.
What work do you most enjoying doing?
Though my Maasai culture images have sold well, most times they are limited to people with an interest in Africa or the Maasai for that matter. Either way I enjoy creating facets of my culture the most!
What themes do you pursue?
Mostly life from birth to old age.
Do you have a favorite piece of artwork that you’ve created?
Yes. I love the mother holding up her baby. I call that one “A Gift from God” and it has been very well received as well.
Professionally, what’s your goal or is there a dream project that you would like to create?
To have a continuous class of students! I have a small studio at Tsuga but there is a space for teaching at least 8 students a day. It would also be great to be able to have a contract with the school district office to teach once a week in all Spokane schools! Unfortunately there is always the argument that they have no money!
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
A wonderful letter of encouragement from President Barak Obama in 2016! And of course coming on a Fulbright to teach at a renown college here in Spokane way back in 2000 - 2001!
What role does the artist have in society?
The artist tells the truth good or bad, kind or evil, about society and also tells of the good that society ought to have.
What advice would you offer to young emerging artists?
Never give up what you love doing, and just be the best that you can be without comparing yourself with others!
Do you have any current or upcoming shows?
I’ll be at the Riverpark Square on First Friday! Come and chat or even buy my art!!
Stop by during our Pro-Am Paint Off this Saturday from 12-3 to meet Sironka, watch him in action and maybe even sign up for one of his classes.