Naita, Maria (1968--) By Kyeyune, George
Known for her prolific and consistent career, Maria Naita has distinguished herself as not only a major player in Uganda’s sculpture scene, but also as a supporter of budding artists. Unlike many art graduates who find jobs alongside making art, Naita has since her graduation at Makerere Art School (BA Fine art 1991 and MA sculpture 1998) chosen a career as a full-time artist combining sculpture and painting. She was born in 1968, and from an early age, Naita had become conscious of the design traditions not only of her own Ganda people, but also from the different regions of the country. Naita’s passion for anatomy and her ability to model from observation are her singular strengths. And yet she is aware that these are in themselves of little consequence if they are not backed by what she calls the “African consciousness,” which, as she explains, has no tangible dimension. To express it in sculpture has been her major challenge. One of Naita’s biggest achievements is KANN Artists, a sculpture company she has put together with a goal to promote sculpture in the country.