Thank you Amanda Beatson for the new artwork at our Waterdown Head Office.
Amanda Beatson, who works in our Landscape Construction department, purchased this painting by Kevin Mbugua as a gift for Gelderman Landscape Services while completing an internship with PACE (Pan African Christian Exchange) in Nyaharuru, Kenya during the spring of 2017.
Amanda worked at the PACE school and mission house in an environmental, gardening and animal care capacity. She provided alternative methods of crop growth to the community and assisted with landscape design. Amanda had previously spent two summers in Kenya working with Lakeside Missions to build new classrooms at the PACE school.
About the Artist
Kevin Mbugua is a young Kenyan man who is focused and determined to make a difference in his own life and his community through art. He started making art when he was in grade 4 and in 2015 during his grade 11 year he joined the art club at Pan African High School in Nyahururu, Kenya. Here he met and worked with other young talented artists who encouraged him and helped develop his talent.
Kevin has a dream to open an art studio with his close friend and fellow classmate and artist where they can reach out to other youth in the community. They hope to teach others to use art as an outlet and way of communicating with those around them. Kevin believes art can be an important part of other young people’s lives to develop them into more mature, expressive, and reliable people in their family, community, and country.
The painting started out as just a sunset over a river symbolizing the struggle Kevin and many youth in Kenya face working long hours doing any job they can to save money for school fees. Often they rise before or with the sun and retire late when the sun is setting again. This is also true when they are in school studying. Kevin decided to add the hippos to represent the fight he has to access education, stay in school and make a living for himself. He plans to do another similar painting later in 2017 after he graduates high school, this time with calm hippos symbolizing the end of his struggle to get an education.
Next time you're at our Waterdown office, stop by Joellen's office to see the painting in person.