Manjano Exhibition

Nairobi County Visual Arts Competition and Exhibition

The Nairobi County Visual Arts Competition and Exhibition: Manjano is an annual event which has been running since 2009 and draws a wide range of student and professional artists from Nairobi. 

The theme of the event is ‘Nairobi’ – artists are challenged to create and submit work which best speaks to or describes their city. The submitted pieces, which include paintings, mixed media pieces, sculptures and installations are subjected to a rigorous judging process conducted by respected members of the visual arts sector. Winners are selected in the professional and student categories, with judges occasionally awarding artists in a special Judges’ Mention category.  In addition to the three winning pieces in the two categories, the judges select a range of work which is then included in the Manjano exhibition which is held at an accessible location.  

The competition and exhibition have evolved over the years.

Of particular significance, the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lock down in 2020 were the perfect catalyst for change, prompting us to try new ways of delivering Manjano. Like our Creative Entrepreneurship, and Copyright training, we looked to the online space to engage with the artist community. This meant making the call for submissions online, re-configuring the submission process to factor in the COVID-19 protocols, and enhancing the digital photography of submitted artwork for online exhibition.  

The response to Manjano has been consistently positive over the years, with the event becoming a staple in the Nairobi artist calendar.