Yenatfenta Abate discusses creativity

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On Tuesday August 6, 2019 Free Art Felega project number four was held by Yenatfenta Abate at Goethe-institution Addis Ababa. This project was a panel discussion with the theme; “identity”. Local media, professional and amateur artists attended to chew over issues around identity and creativity of art.
The event kicked off with a welcoming speech from Yenatfenta Abate. She extrapolated about ways that copy kills creativity and imitating the work of others, and being afraid to make one’s own brand is killing creativity and its originality. After a German artist Peter Herrmann said “I saw one I saw everything” after looking around in a gallery; she was affronted by his words and started this conference to influence the youth into being more creative and finding themselves in art.
After the introduction a young artist by the name Michael briefly explained about art and craft. He relayed a message to young artists that skill is not a basic need for art. After his jaw dropping speech the audience was given a chance to loosen what’s on their mind which later on led to a spirited discussion.
Capital had the chance to have a one-on-one chat with the host of this panel discussion and the founder of Free Art Felega Yenatfenta Abate. The artist said she started her studies in 1988 at the Alle School of fine arts and design and she was the only female student in her class. She had a hard time communicating with teachers because she was a village girl; and couldn’t get along with her peers due to gender differences. She had a chance to study at the Hochschule fur bildende Kunst but then she faced the same fait as her previous school she was the only African in the Academy making things even more difficult. So she decided to open an opportunity to young women who couldn’t get the privilege of being admitted in an art school or artists who seek a scholarship.
The artist also mentioned that she used art to express her feeling ever since she was a little girl. She also speaks about making her sisters resemble the look of a monster when they get annoying and cranky. She used art to defend her because she wasn’t good with words. In 1996 she started free art Felega while she was still doing her studies. Three hundred people joined the institution at the time but now 35,000 and plus artists are part of this institution.