'Social Impact artist, scientist and creativity education champion'.
Alla Tkachuk is an artist, founder of MASK, and a creativity education champion. Having earned degrees in engineering and technical science, Alla pursued a career in fine art. She uses her art to explore notions of human identity, the synergy of art and technology, and the social impact of the arts. Alla believes:
“Art can not only express issues, it can deal with the issues directly enabling people to change the world and reach for the common good”.
Her art has featured on the front pages of the leading national newspapers The Times (UK) and Bild (Germany), and in The Guardian, Independent, Jackdaw Art Review, Art Industry, Hello, Der Spiegel, Die Welt, Dancing Times, Evening Standard, ITV and BSN television platforms and other press and media. She has exhibited internationally, and her works were included in the Royal College of Music and BBC Public Ownership art collections. She is a recipient of the Leverhulme Artist-in-Residence Award, UK Millennium Award, and Gold Medal of the publishing Lead Awards. Alla is a RSA Fellow.
In 2007, while painting in Kenya, Alla discovered that education for creativity was effectively absent from Kenyan schools and, after consulting local NGOs and teachers founded MASK (Mobile Arts School Kenya). Dedicated to engendering creativity in young people, Alla hoped to transform the artistic imagination of young Kenyans into creativity, and their innovation into success.
Discovering a lack of effective creativity teaching methodology, she has developed the model for creativity education through experimental arts, alongside hundreds of hands-on practical workshops for students and teachers in 25 Kenyan schools. To promote awareness and change the perceptions of families, communities and policymakers, Alla organized more than 50 exhibitions and seminars and wrote over 200 articles and blogs in specialist and national press and media, such as The Star newspaper (Kenya)the RSA (UK),the Results for Development Institute (USA), Art and Design Magazine (UK), Childhood Education Magazine (USA), Private Sector Magazine (Kenya), and other publications.
In 2013, to make a wider impact, she established MASK Awards, a pan-African event honouring creativity and innovation for young people and schools - reaching 12 countries in Africa. The awards help young people to explore and energize their creativity and innovation in a safe and supportive environment; push the boundaries of their artistic and social imaginations; nurture their visions for a better future; and motivate and celebrate their creativity.
In 2019, MASK began connecting the MASK’s most innovative young people with companies in Nairobi for employment opportunities, unleashing their economic potential. The most transformative solutions generated by MASK youth are fed into the business and policy community connecting them with the world at large, fostering a powerful sense of purpose and potential.
Alla has presented the MASK project at various academic and cultural platforms: UNESCO in France and South Korea, Nairobi National Museum, the Woodrow Wilson Center, the U.S. Library of Congress, Nairobi University, SOAS University of London, George Washington University, Saatchi Gallery, Turner Contemporary, and Royal Over-seas League. In 2013 Alla presented MASK to President Obama’s aide at the White House in Washington DC, which was followed by a letter of personal recognition from Barack and Michelle Obama. MASK has been acknowledged by Harvard University’s Global Education Innovations (USA), the Results for Development’s Center for Education Innovation (USA), and the International Society for Education Through Art (InSEA) of UNESCO. In 2020, MASK won the ‘Most Innovative Learning Organisation 2020’ Award from the SME News Magazine’s Greater London Enterprise Awards (UK).
MASK is a Social Impact Art. It deals with issues directly: education systems in modern society and the empowerment of the younger generation. Started by carting art supplies up dusty tracks in Kenya, today MASK is a workforce of young visionaries - artists, innovators, leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals - aspiring to improve the world we live in. Through MASK hundreds of young people have discovered their creativity and been inspired to produce transformative solutions. Dozens of teachers have become aware of creativity education and its benefits, and - over time - are improving their creativity teaching skills. Many families and communities have begun to value creativity. Crucially, policymakers are beginning to acknowledge education for creativity in their policies.
MASK is a movement that inspires the young to take charge of their destinies and unleash their collective creativity. A collective of creative minds can influence the long-term course of society and redefine social, economic and cultural change locally, nationally, and globally.
Alla hopes that in the long-term, it will lead to these long lasting changes:
Her vision is a world where all people harness their creative potential to lead fulfilled lives, influencing our collective progress, and building a better future for all.
Alla lives and works in London.