For the love of Boro children

Boro lifestyle: Pupils preparing to go to school

Fifty for fifty fundraising art exhibition to held at Nhabe Museum

A Maun fine artist Matthew Biorn will exhibit his art work at Nhabe museum next month to fundraise for a newly founded Non-governmental organisation, Botho Corps Trust which currently supports children from neighboring Boro settlement.

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The exhibition begins 1st July and will run for a whole month with free admission to the public.

Biorn is also a co-founder of the said Trust which he recently formed together with his wife, Didimalang Biorn with a special mission to serve interests of vulnerable children in Boro, a settlement located some 10 kilometres from Maun.

“He is a former peace corp and was an art teacher in Kasane so he has that passion for art and wants to teach and mentor children in Boro. Most of these children are idle especially during school holidays and weekends,” explained Didimalang in an interview this week.

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The exhibition she explained, will showcase Biorn’s origional and acrylic canvas paintings from 2022 and 2023 as well as retrospective work from earlier in the artist’s career.

“Biorn sees his upcoming show “fifty for fifty” not only as an opportunity for art collectors to acquire original fine art inspired by and produced in Botswana, but to also help fundraise for Botho corp Trust, an NGO where he serves as a board member.

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The title “Fifty-fifty,” according to the artist; is a play on the fact that he turns 50 years of age this year and that fifty percent of the sales from the exhibition will be donated to Botho Corps Trust.

“Visitors should be prepared to view some beautiful paintings that capture feelings of peace and serenity. My taste is quite eclectic and therefore my work varies quite a bit in regards to subject, yet my paintings attempt to capture moments of bold colour and beauty in the natural world,” Biorn explained in a press statement this week.

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Originally from the United States of America, Biorn resides in Boro . He came to Botswana in 1995 as a peace corp volunteer to teach English and Art at Chobe junior secondary school in Kasane and since then he maintains he developed his career as an artist, exhibiting at the country’s national gallery in Gaborone in 2014, American Embassy in Gaborone in 2015 and at Nhabe museum in 2018.

He added that he is inspired by the splendor of his surroundings on the edge of the Okavango Delta, which fuels his motivation to create art.

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“Having lived in Boro since 2018, I saw first hand the hardships and dangers the village children faced in walking or hiking to school in Maun, 10 kilometres each way. We appealed to the business community and Lucara diamond company answered the call by donating a school bus for the kids,” The artist further noted.

In fact since January this year Botho Corps has been transporting about 58 Boro children to and from Maun school with the same bus and according to the organisation the positive impact on their lives and families has been amazing to witness.

With proceeds from the exhibition, the Trust hopes to launch after school skills development programmes for the kids to further strengthen the Boro community.

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