Always serving cultural diversity

The National Art Gallery of Namibia (NAGN), established by an Act of parliament, is a state-owned institution situated in central Windhoek.
Michelline Nawatises
Elizabeth Joseph

The main focus of the National Art Gallery of Namibia is to establish a systematic programme that provides the optimal methodology for informing and inspiring the general public about visual arts, development and promotion of visual art and artists on national, regional and international platforms.

It is therefore the task of the NAGN to involve locals and visitors by giving them full access to their galleries and permanent collections, and to stage wide-ranging exhibitions throughout the year, including creating platforms for promoting visual artists and their art.

The National Art Gallery of Namibia is a national art museum, housing the NAGN Permanent Collection and the Government Permanent Collection.

The NAGN also hosts contemporary exhibitions on a temporary basis from local, national and international artists, while showcasing the best of Namibian artworks from the Permanent Collection for three to six months.


The NAGN currently employs 16 staff members, eight women and eight men, in the following positions:

· Chief executive officer

· Senior human resources officer

· Curatorial coordinator

· 2 X junior curators

· 2 X messengers/cleaners

· Logistics coordinator

“Our culture is embedded in the company’s core values of: Respect, Excellence, Accountability, Teamwork, and Transparency. We expect to be the leading institution when it comes to Namibian art promotion and advocacy throughout Namibia, in Africa and internationally,” says Annapaula Vakamuena, public relations officer.

Company Vision

The company strives to be the leading institution for celebrating, collecting, preserving, exhibiting and researching visual art and craft as a component of national identity, cultural heritage and human connectedness.

Its mission is to provide dedicated space and human capacity for the exhibition, appreciation, acquisition, conservation, preservation and research of visual art and craft.

Corporate social responsibility

The company currently has an open call for submissions for the 2020 Bank Windhoek Triennial. Staged every three years, the Bank Windhoek Triennial showcases the quality and diversity of artwork produced by Namibian artists. The first Bank Windhoek Triennial took place in 2008, with its fifth edition scheduled to take place in September 2020.

Sponsored by Bank Windhoek and organised by the NAGN, the Triennial celebrates visual art in Namibia, while contributing to the development and promotion of the Namibian visual art industry.

Measuring success

“Our success is measured by our key performance indicators as highlighted in the yearly management plan, which is derived from our strategic plan initiatives, as per our five year strategic plan, focusing on a set of strategic objectives,” Vakamuena says.

Every year, the management reviews and evaluates what has been achieved and what challenges have been encountered. The company then puts in place measures to tackle the challenges and continue to device interventions on how to continue achieving the set goals.

Community development

The NAGN holds workshops for communities, where members of the community benefit by receiving art skills that they can use to generate income and foster an artistic career.

One example is workshops called RMB Come Together Art Workshops sponsored by the Rand Merchant Bank through the FNB Holdings Foundation.

These workshops are intended to be held in every region. So far the NAGN has held a ceramic workshop in Kavango East, paint and drawing in Oshana, jewellery making in Hardap and print-making in Khomas.

These workshops are ongoing and the NAGN will take the workshops to other regions this year.

Additionally the NAGN donates art material to various art community projects, such as the Frans Nambinga Art School located in the Havana informal settlement in Windhoek. This school gives art classes to children and adults in the community who have a keen interest in art.