La Carvena moves from Mandala after 29 years


Popular visual arts hub, La Carvena, is set to move out of Mandala in Blantyre where it has been operating for over 20 years.

The development comes barely three weeks after Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) announced that it will move out of its structure end April this year following the end of its lease at Mandala despite renewing its three-year rental contract last year.

La Carvena Director Lois Losacco wrote on the hub’s social media platform on ‘Reflections, Dreams, Memories’ that they would be relocating.


“Since 1994, La Carvena has provided a home to Malawian fine artists and artisans and will continue to do so. We are excited to learn that CFAO together with Toyota Malawi will begin a project to redevelop the Old Manager’s House National Monument, The Fort and grounds over the next months,” Losacco said.

She said the art gallery and Café Mandala, which also houses a library, will relocate and continue to provide “our talented artists a new home for now and the years to come”.

“An entire generation has passed through the doors of the gallery, and it has been a priviledge to have created a home for so many for so long,” Losacco said.


She said for the next few months, they will be posting images of past events, artists, friends and families, who have enjoyed at La Carvena for the past 23 years.

“Tomorrow (today), I will post on Mescheck and David Kelly, the artists I began working with,” Losacco said.

She said their last day operating at Mandala is July 31 2023, revealing that they have not yet found a new home.

Visual Arts Association of Malawi President Gilbert Mpakule described this as a blow to visual arts and the creative sector in general.

“In the absence of the National Arts Gallery, La Carvena has been there for us, giving us a platform and some of the visual artists that have made names in the industry have built these names from La Carvena. I just hope that they will find another good home,” Mpakule said.

He further called upon the government, through Ministry of Local Government, Unity and Culture, to look into the issue of creating a National Arts Gallery.

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