Sironka and 20 plus artists sharing their stories and visions. Come to the Carl Maxey Center at 3114 E. 5th Ave on Saturday April 9th. Youth can meet with the artists in the exhibition from 12 – 3 pm. Have wine and Lébakes cheesecake with the artists from 5 – 7 pm.
I am Nicholas Sironka, (I go by Sironka) a Maasai batik artist, with a God given talent. I was born and raised in Kenya, a country in East Africa. We have 42 different tribes in Kenya. Each tribe speaks a distinctively different language from the other. There is however a national language that helps all these tribes communicate with each other – Kiswahili. (Remember ‘Hakuna matte” in the movie Lion King?). I am Maasai, a small pastoralist tribe living mostly in the southern plains of Kenya known as the Rift Valley.
In the year 2000, I was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholar-In-Residence Award from the U. S. Government to com teach batik art and Maasai culture at Whitworth University in Spokane Washington.
Ever since childhood I was always fascinated by my Maasai culture, a culture that was very much misinterpreted and misunderstood. It is then that I made it my life’s ambition to find a way to tell the truth about my people and to do so with dignity and truth. With my God given talent I determined that batik was the medium I would use to make good of this quest.
Today I sell my original art and enjoy teaching batik art classes and also continue to hold lectures on the Maasai culture whenever I am invited to do so.
My passion to speak on the facets of my culture portrayed in my pieces has many times been impactful emotionally for those buying my art or simply coming and listening to my explanations of deeper meaning for the paintings. Many asked if I was a counselor, and after much thought, I decided to go to school. I am happy to say that today I hold a degree as a certified substance abuse counselor!
My philosophy: “If I can use my talents to touch another life, and make it better, then I will be fulfilling the purpose for which God put me on this Earth!”