The 2017 Lamu Art Festival (LAF) aims to promote and encourage artistic endeavors, education and art appreciation in Lamu County. LAF will celebrate and showcase  local traditional artisans while introducing international and national artists to the area from all mediums of the arts world including musicians from the county and further afield.

The arts play a crucial role in preserving the rich cultural fabric of Lamu society by storytelling with visual arts, poetry, and calligraphy as well as expressing heritage and tradition with wood carving and furniture-making, boat building and jewelry making, weaving and sewing. Lamu is unmatched by the rest of Kenya for its talented artisans due to centuries of trade.

This year’s art festival will focus on the painters retreat (LPF) organized by Herbert Menzer, one of Lamu’s founders and sponsors of cultural events. The 40+ artists from Europe and Kenya will unite in Kenya’s top coastal destination to celebrate their skills by capturing unique landscapes, life and traditions of the island through their various mediums and artistic representation. All of them will live and stay in the fishermen’s village of Shela and mingle with local Shela life.

The plein air  artists of the Lamu Painters Festival (LPF) will paint outdoors from 2nd  to 17th Feb throughout Lamu island, Manda and Pate and showcase their work at the  Baitil Aman Hotel, Shela, from early February. Art lovers are invited anytime to walk in. The Lamu Painters Festival will join the LAF from 17th to 19th Feb for the grand exhibition at Lamu Fort.

A different number of artists are working up to 6 weeks as artists in residency exclusively  for the LAF exhibition. The LAF exhibition is about all media used by the visual arts and showcase paintings, sculptures and installations.


  • Sophie Walbeoffe
2016 participant, UK born artist Sophie Walbeoffe is now based in Nairobi. Always a traveller, she paints at extraordinary stations across the planet. From the stone town of Lamu to the historical wonder of Petra.
Sophie Walbeoffe, Riyadha Mosque, Watercolor on Paper, 55x75cm.


  • James Njroge

    James Njroge, born 1988 in Kisumu, Kenya, studied Fine Arts at Kenyatta University, attended the Anidan Art Project in Lamu in 2015.
James Njroge, Madukani:Wiyoni, Collage on Paper, 44x32cm


  • Rob Jacobs
Rob Jacobs, born 1960, studied painting and architecture at various universities, lives and works in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.
Rob Jacobs, Tavira, Watercolor on Paper, 30×25


  • Olga Peshkova

    Olga Peshkova, born 1989 in Perm/Russia. Specialist for watercolors.
Olga Peshkova, Lorry, Watercolor on Paper


  • Karin Voogd

    Karin Voogd, born 1962, Dutch, lives and works in Rotterdam, Lamu regular since 2011, speaks fluently Swahili.
Karin Voogd, Kibanda Cha Leso, Oil on Canvas, 50x60cm


  • Marc Einsiedel & Felix Krull

    Felix Jung, born 1985, Germany and Marc Einsiedel, born 1983, Germany have worked together since 2010 in Hamburg as an artist-duo with the name Wearevisual (WAV).
WAV, IKEA ‘La Soluicion’2012, Detail


  • Juliana Bastos Oliveira, born 1985, from Portugal, lives and works in Hamburg/Germany.


Eveline van der Griend, Umuntu Ngamuntu Ngabuntu (a person is a person through/because of (other) people).


  • Ekaterina Mitichkina

    Ekaterina Mitichkina, born 1980 in Belarus, lives and works in Germany’s bustling capitol of Berlin.
Ekaterina Mitichkina, ‘Wir sind alle ein bisschen Wal’, Mixed Media, 142 x 212cm


  • Fitsum Berhe Woldebianos

    Fitsum Berhe Woldebianos, born 1979 in Eritrea, studies at the University of Asmara and at the Asmara School of Arts (Eritrea), lives and works in Nairobi since 2003.
Fitsum, Mosaic, Acrylic on canvas, 90x90cm


  • Maina Boniface

    Maina Boniface, from Nanyuki/Kenya, lives and works in Nairobi at Brust Tu Art studio.
Maina Boniface


  • Waweru Gichuhi

    Waweru Gichuhi lives and works in Nairobi at Brush Tu Art studio. On photo with Patrick Mukabi, godfather of Nairobi artists.
Waweru Gichuhi, A Busy Man, Pencil on paper


  • Tatiana Lushnikova

    Tatiana Lushnikova, born 1976, lives and works in St.Petersburg/Russia.
Tatiana Lushnikova, Sail Boats, Oil on canvas, 40 x 60cm


  • Peter Ngugi
Peter Ngugi, born 1978, lives and works in Thika, not far from Nairobi. Attended the LPF workshop in Lamu during curfew conditions in November 2014.
Peter Ngugi, Cogs of a system I, Oil on canvas , 124 x 100 cm, Detail


  • Jürgen Leippert
Jürgen Leippert, born 1944, Stuttgart/Germany, on Lamu island he’s simply named ‘Duke’, returns to Lamu for the fifth time.
Jürgen Leippert, Dhow Race, Oil on Canvas, 60x80cm


  • Doc Pavel Kratochvil, born 1949 in Prag/Czechia, masterclass of Jürgen Leippert.


  • Maria Kolyvanova

    Maria Kolyvanova, born 1986, from Perm/Russia, studied at Art Academy of City of      Perm.
Maria Kolyvanova, Siberian Vedute, Oil on Canvas


  • Piet Groenendijk

    Piet Groenendijk, born 1949, Dutch, Lamu addict, returns to the island for the fifth time!

Piet Groenendijk, Lamu Seafront, Oil on Canvas, 40x70cm


  • Manja Jordans, Netherlands, studied at Wackers Academie.


  • Dale Webster

    Dale Webster, born in the UK, studied Philosophy and History, since 2006 a portrait painter in Kenya.
Dale Webster, detail


  • Frans Bianchi

    Frans Bianchi, born 1951, Dutch, lives and works in Rotterdam. Attending the Lamu Painters Festival for the first time. With Banana.
Frans Bianchi, Baai van Rosas, Oil on canvas, 20 x 30cm


  • Irina Melikhova

    Irina Melikhova, born 1973, Russian, studied painting at Imperial Academy of Arts, lives and works St.Petersburg.
Irina Melikhova, Seashore, Oil on Canvas


  • Valentin Skachkov

    Valentin Skachkov, born 1953, Russian, lives and works in St.Petersburg.
Valentin Skachkov, Seafront, Oil on Canvas, 41x59cm


  • Sonja Brussen

    Sonja Brussen, born 1974 , Dutch, lives and works in the small Dutch village of Lochem.
Sonja Brussen, Early Thoughts, Oil on Canvas, 40x50cm


  • Diederik Vermeulen

    Diederik Vermeulen, born 1942, lives and works in Amsterdam and Algarve, Portugal, attends the festival for the forth time.
Diederik Vermeulen, Lamu Main Square, Oil on Canvas, 30x40cm


  • Robin Akkerman
Robin Akkerman, born 1952 in the Dutch capital Den Haag, travels for the first time to Lamu, he participated several times painters festivals on the Caribean island of Curacao.
Robin Ackerman, Curacao Beach


  • Rob Houdijk

    Rob Houdijk, born 1950, from Netherlands, painter & sculptor.
Rob Houdijk, Orkestrepetitie, Oil on canvas, 75 x 95cm



  • Natalia Dik
Natalia Dik returns as Lamu regular. Originally from St.Petersburg, she lives between Russia and the Netherlands.
Natalia Dik, Maweni Harbour, Oil on Canvas, 50x60cm


  • Sibylle Bross
Sibylle Bross from Stuttgart, Germany has been to Lamu twice, in 2011 and 2015. 
Sibylle Bross, Lamu Market, Oil on Hardboard, 40x40cm


  • Hartmut Beier
Hartmut Beier from the German city of Hamburg participated in 2015 and will be back for the Lamu Art Festival on a 6 week artist of residence stay.
Hartmut Beier, Shela Village View, Oil on Canvas, 60x75cm


  • Joachim Sauter
German sculptor Joachim Sauter will open his Shela studio for visitors and participate the grand exhibition in Lamu Fort 17. – 19.Feb.

  • Paul Taylor

    Paul Taylor, born 1957 in London/UK, former engineer/producer at Decca Record, works as sculptor and painter since the Eighties.
Paul Taylor, Wobble


  • Svetlana Tiourina
Russian born SvetlanaTiourina from Amsterdam participated in the Lamu painters festival in 2015.
Svetlana Tiourina, Anidan Kids, Chinese Ink, Rice paper, Watercolor on canvas, 150x250cm.


  • Nadia Wanjiru
Nadia Wangiru from Nairobi was trained by Patrick Mukabi at GoDown. Specialist for charcoal drawings and on canvas, this time she attends the festival to develop series of oil paintings and work with children.
Nadia Wanjiru, Baobab, Charcoal on Canvas, Dyptichon 50x120cm


  • Nduta Kariuki
Nduta Kariuki, studied Fine Arts at Kenyatta University. Lives and works in Nairobi.


  • Marina Rubanova
Marina Rubanova, born 1965 Grozny, Chechnya, lives and works in Moscow, Russia. Attending the festival for the first time.
Marina Rubanova, Seashore, Oil on canvas


  • Machtelt Ijdo

    Machtelt Ijdo, born 1965, Dutch, studied at Wackers Academie, Amsterdam, travels for the first time to Lamu.
Machtelt Ijdo, Zicht op Warmond, Oil on Canvas, 30x40cm


  • Ernst Dingemans
Ernst Dingemans, born 1941, Dutch, painter and photographer, husband of Sonja Brussen and travels to Lamu for the first time.
Ernst Dingemans, Uitzicht vanaf het strand bij Scheveningen
  • Marjolein Menke
Marjolein Menke, born 1957, Dutch, studied at the famous Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and travels to Lamu for the first time.
Marjolein Menke, Rododendron in Ginger Jar, Oil on canvas, 20 x 30cm


  • Claire Bianchi
Claire Bianchi, born 1963, French, lives & works in Milly-La-Foret, close to Chateau Fontainebleau.
Claire Bianchi, Oil on canvas, 55 x 33cm


  • Roland Klemp

    Roland Klemp, born 1966, a Lamu regular since 2009, festival photographer and initiator of the Shela Hat Contest.
Roland Klemp, Lamu Smiles, 130 pages, available on


  • Eric Gitonga
    Eric Gitonga, photographer, lives and works in Nairobi, follows the arts and has documented numberless art events.

    Eric Gitonga