Vukuzakhe Project Benefits AIDS Orphans in S. Africa

Children in line at the Soup Kitchen Amandawe.

Staff Report

On Friday, September 21 Anne Jenkins Art Gallery will present “The Vukuzakhe Project,“ an art project featuring a limited series of large paintings and fabric landscapes. The opening reception on September 21, from 5 to 8 pm is free and open to the public at 127 NW Front Street in downtown Milford.

The exciting project benefits AIDS orphans in South Africa and is a collaboration between local artist, Anne Jenkins, and the Amandawe Support Group in the South African province of KwaZulu Natal. The ladies in the support group create fabric landscapes and Jenkins incorporates them in to her art. Vukusakhe means ‘standing up and doing it for yourself’ in Zulu.

“It’s really spreading hope with every stitch and paint,” Jenkins said. “We are truly a grassroots organization of women helping women. At least 50% of the profits will go to the group, and it will make a world of difference to them and the children.”

The works are interwoven stories dictated by the provenance of the fabric landscape, Jenkins explains. They are interconnected but individual pieces of art bound together by a common story. Jenkins attaches plexiglass dowels to each piece, which is on a 36×24 inch cradled wood panel, to support the fabric landscape above her painting. This protects the fabric from the paint and keeps it as an individual piece of art as it ‘floats’ over her scene. Each completed piece bears the signature of Jenkins and the designer of the fabric landscape.

The bulk of the money sent to South Africa goes to the soup kitchen run by the support group and the perma-culture vegetable garden to supply the soup kitchen. This ensures the children get at least one good meal a day.

A self-taught artist, Jenkins’ acrylics and watercolors can be found in many private collections in Europe, Japan, South Africa, Canada, all over the United States. Among her corporate clients are HBO and Universal Studios, Hollywood, Calif., the Ritz-Carlton at Lake Oconee, Ga.; Datacert Inc., Houston, Texas; TravelTalk Radio, San Diego, Calif., and Entergy Power Company, New Orleans, La.

Jenkins has shown at major shows in Houston, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; Oyster Bay, New York and throughout the South East. She participated in an invitation only show in Quebec, Canada in 2004 and spent three weeks as an artist in residence in Colorado in 2009. Her art is on display in a number of galleries.

For information on Jenkins and The Vukuzakhe Project, call (302) 393-6629, visit or follow on facebook at