National Arts Council (NAC) chairperson Patrick Samwimbila has called on politicians and the corporate world to support artists in the country by buying their works to help them make a living off their talents.

And Samwimbila says the Council sees 2019 as a year of conquest for the arts fraternity.

In a statement issued by Ministry of Tourism and Arts Public Relations Officer Sakabilo Kalembwe, Friday, Samwimbila was commenting on President Edgar Lungu’s support to Mercy Gondwe, a 20-year-old artist of Chimwemwe compound in Kitwe, who shot into the limelight following her recent painting of the Head of State’s portrait.

He said President Lungu had set a platform for all stakeholders to support the local arts industry in Zambia, and that it was incumbent on various stakeholders to buy and support local artwork to help artists make a living off their talents.

He added that since President Lungu had shown support to one of the artists, the whole sector needed to be supported.

“Politicians and the corporate world need to come to the support of artists, especially that the President has led the way,” Samwimbila said.

He further said Mercy, who was empowered through her talent, would pursue further studies in art.

Samwimbila urged her to make good use of the proceeds of the support and achieve her dream of going professional through tertiary training.

“The empowerment of the girl is a good way to start the year as the Council will do more this year as it commemorates its Silver Jubilee themed ‘Year of arts’,” said Samwimbila.