Celebrating the monumental legacy of Lemma Guya

Artist Netsanet Lemma with her father the late Dr Laureate Lemma Guya

20 June 2022

The Lemmism Art Center in Bishoftu town in Ethiopia is an acknowledgment of the late Dr Laureate Lemma Guya, one of the world’s most prolific and talented Ethiopian artists. Guya was born in 1928 in Ada’a, Oromia, Ethiopia and produced around ten thousand original works during his life. Even Emperor Haile Selassie I recognized Guya’s talents and ability and sent him for training as an airplane technician with the Ethiopian Air Force.

He continued his work as an artist and gained international acclaim and became highly respected, exhibiting his work throughout the world and was bestowed with many awards and accolades.
Photos (l-r) 1. Portrait of President Wade  2. Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, Laureate Lemma Guya and Ethopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed  3. South African Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma with Laureate Lemma Guya

The Lemmism Art Center which opened in 2021 is a place of learning, to serve the community and an inspiration for people to visualise their hopes, dreams and talents, said Netsanet Lemma, director and co-founder of the centre. Netsanet Lemma is one of the daughters’ of Guya, a talented and recognized visual artist in her own right. Netsanet Lemma holds degrees in Fine Arts and Psychology and has a unique style as an abstract figurative painter. As a psychologist, she is using art as a form of therapy for those in need and continues to explore new ways to share her cultural traditions.

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The centre’s primary objective is to serve the community in a variety of ways that will allow artists an exhibition platform and a creative space for upcoming and established artists to explore their abilities. It will also serve as an event centre for community activities and a place to network, teach and share knowledge and skills to further artistic development. Training for the business of art and handicrafts, starting and managing art enterprises and reaching and growing new markets will also be central to the centre, as will empowerment, particularly for women.

Netsanet can be reached on
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