Name: Isaac Miriri
Occupation: Founder and Publisher NairobiArts.com
Creative Enterprise Bio
The NairobiArts.com is a one-stop shop for arts information in Nairobi and Kenya.
It’s the guide to finding original contemporary African art … arts and crafts … bronzes … African gifts and more.
We endeavor to guide people on where to find the relevant visual arts, artists … art and cultural organizations … galleries and art centers … artists’collectives … and more.
Hence the NairobiArts.com comes in to satisfy the need for arts information and a guide into the Kenya arts.
I have been within the arts in Nairobi as a photographer and writer since 2005.
It wasn’t always this way … I changed careers midlife, from electrical installation work to photography and freelance journalism.
I started by enrolling for a long distance photography course with the New York Institute of Photography (NYIP).
I bought my first film camera then.
Once that was on I met some photographer friend who was doing events photography … but geared towards selling the photos to individuals attending the event (paparazzi) and not as the official event photographer.
I hated that with a passion … I had this different idea about some other sort of photography.
Within the same time I started contemplating about writing … especially where I didn’t have to go on location to do the kind of work that photography entailed.
Connections within the Arts Industry
Around the same year I went into photography I started attending art events in Nairobi.
These were art exhibitions, music concerts, and whatever else art event was available.
This helped in making connections within the arts industry.
It’s also the time I met Christian Randrianampifazy … the then Deputy Director of Alliance Française in Nairobi.
He was taking photos in an art exhibition there. We connected immediately.
We later went on to work together in the Kenya Month of Photography project that took place there for several years.
The project was his brainchild. I participated in it as an organizer together with a few other local photographers.
We introduced monthly photo critique forums and activities that culminated in month long photography exhibitions in June each year.
And photography workshops that catered for amateur photographers … and an advanced one that catered mainly for professional photographers.
We worked with different curators and photographers within this period.
Work With Various Artists and Organizations
I worked closely with art photographer James Muriuki in the 2010 Kenya Month of Photography Exhibition. He curated the Sustain-Ability Photo Installation.
I’ve also worked with him and his partner, visual artist Syowia Kyambi helping with some of their various art projects.
We worked together in their ‘Layers Art Exhibition’ that showed at the Nairobi National Museum in December 2012.
I worked closely with Syowia during her ‘Between Us Art Installation’ that took place at the GoDown Arts Centre in June – July of 2014.
I also worked with Ogova Ondego in the Lola Kenya Screen Film Festival for the Youths and Children for several years.
This was during the August festival and the monthly Lola Kenya Screen Film forums at the Goethe Institut Nairobi.
I also worked with Harsita Waters, Anne Wamai and others of the Alliance Française in Nairobi.
I have worked with foreign artists, photographers and journalists in various capacities.
Writing About the Arts in Nairobi
Sometime after starting my photography journey … I enrolled in a Freelance Journalism Course with the Writers Bureau of Manchester City.
This was a result of being in the arts and wanting to do something different that could include photography for my articles on the arts.
I’ve previously published articles about the arts in the People Daily Newspaper, ArtMatters.info and Africancolours.com.
I’m currently involved with creating content for the www.NairobiArts.com arts website that brings together the arts information in Nairobi.
I previously created my first information website http://www.kenyasights.com/ it carries information about Kenya.
Inform and entertain through arts
The mission of the NairobiArts.com is to be one of Kenya’s leading providers of information and entertainment about the arts in the country.
Using the online space for content delivery through the written word … photography, and video.
All the photos are by Isaac Miriri.
18 Month Plan
• Make NairobiArts.com the go-to place for relevant information about the Nairobi Arts
• Make it a leading arts guide for the Kenya Visual Arts
• Document the arts within these current times
• The Creative Entrepreneurship Course have helped shape the journey of the NairobiArts.com.
There are some seemingly small and mundane steps that go into making this creative venture a success.
These are some of the things that I’m embarking on going forward.