Sculpture from Zimbabwe now in Ballard

On a quiet street in Ballard, dozens of stone sculptures from the artist colony of Tengenenge, in Zimbabwe are on view and for sale. They are elegant works combining the aesthetic of the Shona tribe with the modernism that Picasso provided in his interpretation of African art.

On display are representations of animals and mothers and children. They range in size from about six inches to five feet. The artists have had major shows in Chicago as well as in San Francisco and are represented in museum collections in the United States and Europe. Their presence in Seattle is an interesting story.

Susanne Martin Herz and Arnd Herz, two pediatricians formerly of Seattle visited Zimbabwe, saw these sculptures made by members of the Shona tribe, loved them, and decided to market them for the betterment of the artists and their communities. They established a nonprofit agency called House of Stone and recruited Jean and John Boliver, at whose home the sculptures are displayed, to its Board.

In 2010, House of Stone helped fund a preschool for the deaf, provided education and warm meals for 270 preschoolers, supported job-skills training for vulnerable girls, and maintained programs at preschools that were under threat of closure. Over 95% of funds raised go back to help the children of Zimbabwe.

More than half of the recent shipment has already been sold, but a wide variety of work is still available.

Stone Sculpture from Zimbabwe, (john.boliver@comcast.net)

Leave a Reply