The Festival of Art will be hosting its first art extravaganza on the 17th & 18th of March in Franschhoek across three venues, each of which brimming with potential and nuance (but more about those later).
One might feel that another festival would struggle to stand out amongst the busy tapestry that is the Capetownian Social Calendar; however, it is the unique ethos of this Festival that makes it stand out. When asked, the organizers had this to say: “Our goal is to provide a platform for undiscovered local artists where they can exhibit their work in a creative, relaxed and beautiful environment. We opened our applications on the 15th September 2017 and received an incredible variety of work from all sorts of artists ranging in skills and styles – the only prerequisite was that they live in SA. Amongst those, sixteen underprivileged, extremely talented artists were sponsored by Festival of Art with stands and supplies to assist them in exposing their talent. They teamed up with a community outreach program ‘Outliers’ (www.outliers.org.za) that assists more than eighty volunteer-driven initiatives in townships where adults help children after school from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m., assisting with homework and teaching them therapeutic coping skills such as creating artwork.” These young artists, along with a number of other exceptionally skilled individuals, have had no formal training but their work is astounding and will be exhibiting for the first time at the Festival of Art.
The venues hosting this year’s Festival of Art each exude their own style and character; not surprising when you consider that they boast a collective age of over five hundred years. Each of these picturesque locations will feature a celebrated South African artist (Selwyn Pekeur at Bridge House, Nanette Ranger at Eikehof & Ronald West at La Bri).
A quick peek at the Festival of Art’s website (www.festivalofart.co.za) will get you picturing the festive scene; an art in the park extravaganza set in and amongst shady trees and rows of vines.
“Under the oak trees in the shadow of the Drakenstein mountain lies Eikehof, one of the first farms gifted to the Huguenots in the Franschhoek area. Subdivided in 1858 and purchased by the Malherbe family in 1903, today the estate is owned and operated by the fourth generation of Malherbes…”
“As one of the first nine farms granted to members of the earliest Huguenot group seeking sanctuary in the Cape in 1688, La Bri is already home to a rich and colourful history…”
Bridge House has its own sense of reverence that comes from decades of moulding and sculpting young minds into learned scholars, “Walk down the halls of Bridge House and you’ll immediately see the school’s commitment to artistic expression through the artworks lining the walls – some created by students, and some by parents themselves”
Whether distilling vinicultures or installing a sense of culture, these venues provide a vintage mystique that is sure to captivate you no matter your palate.
If you’re wondering if there is anything else to look forward to, the simple answer is yes! For entertainment there are street performers, buskers and musicians constantly taking turns to provide you with their best material. One of the highlights for visitors will be that many artists exhibiting their artwork will be working on pieces during the Festival of Art – who doesn’t love watching an artist’s process and connecting with where the artwork comes from? “After all, the whole concept is to have people interact with art in a fun way, providing people with the opportunity to reconnect with art and the artistic process,” say
With all the artists chosen and the venues primed for what promises to be two amazing days whether you are a lover of art, curator, gallery-owner, or just in need of something different, you do not want to miss this! Book your ticket now: www.qkt.io/foa