Projects + Events

Sculpture in the Park

SaToro will return to the 37th annual Sculpture in the Park for his 9th year. Experience the event in August 2021 in Loveland, Colorado. Visit their website for ticket information and more. 

SaToro Tafura on KGNU’s People of Color in Boulder County 

SaToro Tafura sat down with the hosts of PoCo in BoCo, Nikhil Mankekar and Tracey Jones, to talk about his journey as an artist, the focus of his current work, and what it’s like to be an artist of color.

SaToro Tafura Named 100 People to Know
The Longmont Times Call recognized SaToro Tafura as one of the City of Longmont, Colorado’s 100 People to Know. “If you want to understand my work, it’s important to understand rural Zimbabwe or rural Africa in general,” Tafura said. “My early memories of Zimbabwe, those I hold very dear to my heart. Right now, I feel like we are losing that pretty fast. So I try to draw inspiration from that period of rural Africa and try to balance history with present-day phenomena.”

Installation of 11.5-ton Stone Sculpture

April 13, 2018 [Denver, Colorado] – SaToro Stalin Tafura, Longmont-based sculptor, will be installing a 11.5-ton stone sculpture in Greenwood Village, Denver on Wednesday, April 18, 10 am at 3800 E. Long Rd, Greenwood Village, CO 80121. Prior to the installation, there will be a Q&A with the artist at 9:30 am. Please park on the side of the dirt road, being sure not to obstruct through traffic.

Tafura, a Zimbabwean artist, quarried the 13-foot tall chunk of serpentine stone from Zimbabwe, where he began the initial work on the piece before shipping it by sea from Harare to Durban, South Africa to Houston, before its arrival in Denver.

SaToro Stalin Tafura is part of a lineage of renowned stone sculptors, including his mother, Agnes Nyanhongo, who were featured at a Denver Botanic Garden exhibition in 2008.  The 14-ton stone sculpture has been commissioned by a Denver resident and is one of the largest Zimbabwean stone sculptures created to date. While some phases of a large-scale stone sculpture require the use of power tools, Tafura prefers to work primarily using hand tools.

Media are invited to attend the installation of the stone sculpture, during which it will be mounted upright and secured to a base, in the location where it will be completed and on permanent display. The artist will be available to describe the creative process and answer questions prior to the installation

View footage of the process of quarrying the stone without the use of machinery.

Documentary Film

In 2017, SaToro Stalin Tafura embarked on a monumental artistic project — sculpting a 14-ton stone (one of the largest Zimbabwean stone sculptures created to date) and producing a documentary film.

After quarrying a 16-foot tall chunk of serpentine stone in Zimbabwe, he began the initial work on the piece before shipping it from Harare to Durban, South Africa to Houston, Texas to Denver, Colorado.

“In this sculpture, I am determined to express aspects of my culture that are being discarded in favor of U.S. and European values and ways of life.  U.S. and European culture has its own value, but it’s something external – it’s not ours – and we are losing a lot when we abandon the things that give us a sense of identity and self-worth. I’m intent on reclaiming those pieces of who I am as a Shona person and an Afrikan.”

Culture in Zimbabwe is changing very rapidly due to poverty and a resulting rise in Christianity. The various profit-motivated pastors have been utilizing the same approach used during the colonization in Afrika and in Native American boarding schools in the U.S.  Indigenous languages, the family structure, cultural traditions, food, and the arts are demonized so much that Zimbabwean culture is being discarded. People are motivated to reject their culture because they’re told they are in poverty due to their beliefs and that Christianity will save them. This same pattern can be seen throughout the Afrikan continent.

sculpting process

This has had a tremendous impact on the art forms, which are directly tied to spiritual beliefs and cultural values. There are a few Zimbabwean traditionalists, scholars, and artists who are making an effort to reclaim aspects of their culture that have already been lost within their generation. This project is part of those efforts.

View an excerpt of a documentary on this project, including footage of the process at the quarry, extracting a 14-ton stone without the use of machinery.

For more information, please ‘like’ Back to Zimbabwe Movie on Facebook.

 

3 thoughts on “Projects + Events

  1. After passing your sign on Long Road for nearly a year, today I walked closer to your pieces including the larger unfinished sculpture. May I congratulate your vision and artistry. We who live near and drive past are indeed fortunate. Your work adds thought and beauty. Thank you as well as those who have made it all possible.

  2. We often walk the Highline Canal trail or drive on Long Road, and we always love looking at the sculptures. These sculptures are so expected and so beautiful. Today it was nice to meet SaToro while my son and I were out for a walk. Thanks for this great contribution to our local scenery!

  3. We often walk the Highline Canal trail or drive on Long Road, and we always love looking at the sculptures. These sculptures are so unexpected and so beautiful. They bring a sense of peace and quiet joy to the observer. Today it was nice to meet SaToro while my son and I were out for a walk. Thanks for this great contribution to our local scenery!

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