The history of the Institute of Fine Arts in Lubumbashi dates back to the year 1946 with Pierre Romain Defosses, official and painter of French nationality who gathered in the hangar workshop artists such as Bela, Pilipili and Mwenze Kibwanga.
In 1954, Pilipili and Mwenze Kibwanga became teachers in the private school of Laurent Moonens. The school organised painting, sculpture and publicity workshops. The success is such that the administration of Leopoldville recognises the school as the official Academy of Fine Arts of Elisabethville in 1957.
The school retains the ambition of its founder, namely that the artists express themselves freely and that their production needs are assured.