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First-ever New York Showcase of Tanzanian Tingattina Art Paintings that Capture the Story of a People

( (New York, NY, May 2, 2007/eTN ) … The inaugural exhibition of Tanzanian Tingatinga Paintings will be held at the Rudolph Steiner Gallery, 138 West 15th Street in New York, from May 12-June 27. Ambassador Augustine P. Mahiga, Permanent Representative of The United Republic of Tanzania to the United Nations, will host the opening night reception on Saturday May 12 at 5 P.M.

“Prior to this exhibition,” comments Ambassador Mahiga, “art lovers had to travel to Tanzania to see and purchase the color-filled works of the Tingatinga School of painting. Now, through the dedication of New Yorker Jean van Buuren, who fell in love with the work while on safari, a full spectrum of this brilliantly colored, wholly unique school of art will be on display and sale here in New York.”

Tingatinga art was originally developed in the 1960s by Mr. Eduardo S. Tingatinga. So strong was his influence that the school of art has remained easily recognizable while evolving through the years. A brief description from the Tingatinga Cooperative Society describes the original work as “paintings done on masonite using bicycle paint. The work differs dramatically in size, ranging from small to huge pieces transportable only by airplane.” Later, oils on hardboard were the standard.

Coastal and savannah East African art motifs of Tanzania are the greatest influence in Tingatinga art. Decorative vines and Swahili cultural symbols abound in flat, lush surfaces. Fanciful caricatured animals are predominate subjects of the paintings in intriguing combinations of lush landscapes and depictions of daily life in Tanzania.

Mrs. Jean van Buuren, together with Mrs. Elizabeth Mahiga are convinced that the Tingatinga art works are under-showcased in the United States compared to Europe and Japan, and have been instrumental in bringing the paintings to this show in New York. “I believe that many new collectors will be delighted to see this work,” says Mrs. Van Buuren. “And I am pleased that the proceeds of sales will go to the Tingatinga Artists Collective in Tanzania, as well as the Baharti Girls Secondary School in Iringa, Tanzania, a model school of academic excellence, leadership and community service.”

The Exhibition
Opening Reception, public invited, for the Inaugural Tingatinga Exhibition: Saturday, May 12, 2007, 5:00 PM; Rudolph Steiner Gallery, 138 West 15th Street, New York, New York, 10011; Exhibition dates May 12-June 27, 2007; for Gallery Schedule, please call 212-972-9160.

For more information about Tanzania; in the US: The Bradford Group, (212) 447-0027; email

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