Maeder House Gallery
On 4 June 2011, His Majesty the King opened the Maeder House Art & Craft Gallery and the Morija Arts Centre. Maeder House is believed to be the oldest building in Lesotho, dating back to 1843. It was the home of missionary artisan and artist Francois Maeder. The gallery provides Basotho artists with a place to exhibit and sell their work.
The mission of Maeder House Gallery is to provide a space for professional visual artists to showcase and sell their art. Furthermore, Maeder House Gallery has 4 core objectives: 1. Provide a marketplace for artists in Lesotho to sell their art at competitive market prices; 2. Provide formal representation for professional artists in Lesotho in local, regional, and global art markets; 3. Provide a platform from which professional artists can network with curators, gallerists, academic & media critics, and collectors; 4. Provide mentorship for young budding artists to break into the art market.
Maeder House Gallery is the only art gallery in operation in Lesotho. Since its founding in 2011, the gallery is the only such institution that represents artists and showcases visual arts in the country. As such the gallery is instrumental in bringing visual artists to the limelight without which talent may fade into obscurity. 1. By providing a competitive marketplace where artists can sell their art, the gallery directly contributes to the economic development, not only of the artists but of the visual arts sector as a whole. 2. By providing representation to professional artists we ensure the fair treatment of practitioners and that they are not vulnerable to manipulation from market agents who may solely seek to profit from their work. We believe representation is key to the economic well-being of artists if they are to compete in the complicated regional and global art market. 3. By providing a networking platform we expand artists’ reach and possibilities. We believe it is essential for the entire strata of the visual arts industry to be open, transparent, and inclusive. Often artists have no direct interaction with players in the industry and depend on third parties to secure such contact. Through Exhibition Openings and Artist Talks, we allow artists to freely interact with key players in the industry. 4. Our Master Class & Mentorship program, provides young budding artists with industry orientation, an understanding of the current global state of art and skills development to allow them to ‘break into’ the art scene. Our Solo Program for outstanding artists is also designed to catapult artists who show much promise to the apex of the local arts industry as well as provide them a gateway to the regional market as many prestigious regional and international exhibitions and fairs insist on artists having at least 1 solo shows under their belt as an entrance requirement. Furthermore, our Regional Art Fair Participation Program is designed to directly introduce local artists to the regional market.