Oliewenhuis Art Museum is excited to announce that the Great Expectations: Selected works from ArtbankSA Contemporary Art Collection, will be showcased at the museum from 14 March to 5 May 2024. This poignant, yet inspiring exhibition, travelled from the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria, and will be on display for the local and surrounding audiences.

As South Africa gears for the 2024 general elections, Great Expectations takes a moment to reflect on dreams and hopes held for a free and equal South Africa almost three decades ago. The exhibition is a thought-provoking and meaningful exploration of identity, society, the built environment, and the spirit of the times in the context of the country’s 30-year journey towards democracy.

The exhibition continues the conversation on the overall curatorial theme around meaning making by way of visual art, exploring, heritage, the self, and the collective contemporary South Africa plunged into a reckoning around uncomfortable historic truths and reflecting on the future implications of the decisions made now with a special focus on the disconnect between expectations, reality, and the audacity to find hope.

Great Expectations exhibition was curated with a selection of artworks from Art Bank of South Africa Contemporary Art Collection by the entity’s Project Manager Nonto Msomi. It features works by notable South African contemporary artists including Banele Khoza, Lithemba Mpambani, Luyanda Zindela, Mkhize Khulekani, Mothobi Mefane, Thando Mama, Zakhale Hlabisa and Mellaney Roberts to list a few. The selected artist’s works make a monumental contribution in capturing the complex tapestry of experiences, aspirations, and challenges that have shaped the nation during its post-apartheid era.

While the ArtbankSA’s mandate is to purchase artworks from South African artists, particularly that of emerging artists to lease and sell the artworks to South African government departments, private companies, and private individuals, Msomi is tasked with establishing and developing the entity’s Contemporary Visual Art Collection. She has extensive experience in the art world having worked as the Assistant Director at the William Humphreys Art Gallery (2020-2021), the visual arts coordinator, curator, and facilitator at the BAT Centre Trust (2017), lead for the Cultural Activities and Youth Programming for the International AIDS Conference (2016), and the KZN regional coordinator of Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA) (2013-2015).

The public is invited to join Oliewenhuis Art Museum for the opening of Great Expectations: Selected works from ArtbankSA Contemporary Art Collection at 19:00 on Thursday, 14 March 2024. Everyone is welcome and entrance is free of charge. Refreshments will be served.

The exhibition will be on view until Sunday, 5 May 2024. Oliewenhuis Art Museum is situated at 16 Harry Smith Street in Bloemfontein. The Museum is open to the public from Monday to Friday, operating hours are from 08:00 to 17:00. On Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays, the museum is open from 09:00 to 16:00. Admission is free, and there is secure parking available for visitors at a cost of R10 per car, payable in cash. Wheelchair access is provided through a ramp at the main entrance, and there is also a lift available for access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor.


About the Art Bank of South Africa

Art Bank of South Africa (ArtbankSA) is a national programme of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture as part of the Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) strategy implementation and is hosted by the National Museum Bloemfontein, an agency of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture. Its vision is to promote, foster and stimulate a vibrant market for the collection of South African contemporary visual art through the lease and sell of artworks to South African government departments, private companies, and private individuals.


Oliewenhuis Art Museum

16 Harry Smith Street


T +27 (0) 51 011 0525 (ext 200)




Visiting Hours

Mon to Fri 8:00 – 17:00

Sat 9:00 – 16:00

Sun & Public Holidays 9:00 – 16:00

Closed on Good Friday & Christmas Day

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is a satellite of the National Museum, Bloemfontein, an agency of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture.

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