About The Verandah Gallery
The Verandah Gallery was ‘born’ in 1992 when Anna Fleming decided to have an Art Exhibition on her verandah to help raise funds for her neighbours, The Emerald Hill Children’s Home. Due to its success The Verandah Gallery Charity Art Exhibition, always held on the last Sunday of July, became an annual event and will celebrate 25 years in 2016. A portion of the proceeds are now also donated to the Emerald Hill School for the Deaf which is situated on the same hill as the Children’s Home.
With the ever-increasing number of artists wishing to exhibit their work at Verandah Gallery, in 2005 a second fundraising event called Paintings & Pimms! began which takes place in November each year. As the prospect of rain is high in November, it is lower key and more of an art sale than an exhibition, with unframed portfolio artwork set out on trestle tables in a marquee for people to select from.
Not only have these events raised much needed funds for the Home and School over the years but they have also contributed greatly to a wider public awareness of many of Zimbabwe’s talented artists.
Whilst The Verandah Gallery is not a formal gallery for the rest of the year, Anna keeps a small range of unframed ‘portfolio’ paintings on her verandah as these are often in demand with both visitors and Zimbabweans.
It was through the Exhibitions that, in 1998, the idea of publishing ranges of cards and calendars arose. These feature the work of many of the above mentioned Zimbabwean artists and are published under the name of The Verandah Gallery. Other products have been introduced over the years including wrapping paper designs, with matching tags, a Birthday Calendar; two ranges of Postcards and the most recent product, Fridge Magnets.
About Emerald Hill Children’s Home
The Emerald Hill Children’s Home, founded in 1914 by the Dominican Sisters, shelters up to 100 children who have been orphaned, abandoned or abused. With the HIV/AIDS pandemic continuing to contribute to the breakdown of family structures there is an ever-increasing need to care for these children.
The Emerald Hill School for the Deaf has over 300 pupils, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is comparatively recently that the school began to enrol a number of pupils without a hearing disability as they have found that it greatly helps the deaf children with their communication skills and encourages them to have the confidence to interact with the outside world.