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Multi-tasking artist carves path to entrepreneurship

Maggie Otieno working on her latest sculpture.
Maggie Otieno working on her latest sculpture. PHOTO | ERIC GITONGA 

Maggie Otieno did not become one of Kenya’s leading artist and art entrepreneurs overnight. She has taken her time, first to figure out what specifically she wanted to do artistically, given that her studies at the Creative Arts Centre had made her an all-rounder and primarily a painter.

It was after she had joined a sculpture workshop with Elijah Ogira at Kuona Trust that she finally knew her special field was sculpting. She would eventually work in everything from wood, fibre glass, scrap and sheet metal; the latter materials can be seen standing at the entrance of Garden City Mall where her eight metal “Gatekeepers” welcome shoppers and guests to the leading Thika Road mall.

Another key to Maggie’s success is working together with other artists, first at CAC, then when she, with several of her fellow students, rented a studio together, and finally at Kuona Trust which she joined soon after it opened in the late 1990s.

She’s been staying close to the burgeoning Kenyan art community ever since, both by working side by side with artists at Kuonand through the professional fine arts agency that she founded a few years back and which has enabled her to commission other artists to assist her in completing various commissioned work that she’s been given.