Nairobi’s creative community has so much to offer, yet when it comes to buying artwork for our homes or offices, many of us are still hanging mass-produced prints on our walls. With so much incredible talent right in our own backyard, we can’t help but wonder why.
At Nairobi Street Kitchen, we truly believe that supporting local artists contributes to the success of the community, which is why we’ve created a platform where art lovers can connect easily with Kenyan creatives of all experience levels and from all walks of life.
So whether you’re looking for your first-ever original artwork, or you’re an avid collector searching for that next special piece, here are 5 reasons why you should go local (you can thank us later).
1. You’ll Have a Stronger Connection to the Art
It’s likely that you share everyday experiences, struggles, and joys with those living in your own community. Kenyan artists are so influenced by their local culture and hometown that they’ll capture that familiarity in their work, allowing you to have a much stronger connection to it.
More than that, because local art reflects the places and people in the region it was created, it cultivates a strong sense of cultural identity. You, or anyone visiting your space, will be able to see themselves reflected in the piece, and that sense of belonging is a very powerful thing.
2. You’ll Help Enrich the Cultural Fabric of Your City
Local artists contribute to the cultural well-being and growth of a community. Their work adds vibrancy to the city and can open us up to new ideas and ways of thinking. Their pieces also serve as a reflection of our history, culture, and current moment, whether that’s through custom paintings, sidewalk art, or murals.
While the tendency is to indulge in popular culture or store-bought prints, supporting Nairobi’s creatives is essential in building our community. Not only will your purchase give them a voice and stronger presence, but supporting local artists will motivate them to work more, inevitably leading to a city that is financially and culturally richer and more valuable.
3. You’ll Be Able to Customize Your Piece
Custom artwork lets your personality and space shine in a way that no store-bought piece ever will. One of the biggest benefits of discovering an artist in your own community is that you can connect with them. Many welcome commissions and will create artwork tailored to your life and space.
You might even get the opportunity to talk with the artist and understand them better. They can let you in on the emotions that drove the process, the true inspiration behind their work, or even make suggestions on what piece they would recommend based on your particular needs.
4. You’ll Strengthen Your Local Economy
When you buy from local retailers, be it a piece of art, fresh produce, or artisanal goods, you’re taking important steps to support your local economy – something that is now more important than ever. By investing in the work of a local artist, the money cycles back into your community, and everyone does better for it.
You’ll Also Do Your Part for the Environment
Many Kenyan artists craft their pieces from materials they find in nature or in local recycle businesses, and some even reuse their own scrap parts. So in addition to helping your economy, buying local will give you the chance to do your part in building a more sustainable and eco-friendly future.
5. Shopping Locally Makes For a Fun Experience
Shopping online for mass produced prints may be convenient, but nothing beats the experience of visiting an indoor market or a thriving local hangout when searching for your next art piece.
When you visit Nairobi Street Kitchen, not only will you be able to connect more with the creative community, but you’ll also get to indulge in some great live music, sample awesome food and cocktails, and get handmade local art and other items from the Nairobi Street Kiosk.
Looking for your next gift idea?
Candles are nice, but you can only give so many before that gets old. The gift of local art is truly unique, personal, and helps support local businesses all in one.
Local Shopping at Your Fingertips
Our carefully-curated marketplace brings locally-made goods and entertainment to your fingertips. We’re proud to connect the community with passionate creatives, musicians, and bespoke sellers, all in support of independent businesses and artists.
To discover more about how you can support local businesses, contact us at +254 707 800 800 or firstname.lastname@example.org