It is not unusual to find artworks by William Kentridge, Penny Siopis, Athi-Patra Ruga and Jane Alexander leading an auction sale. These contemporary art stars with impressive international profiles generate attention. However, the appearance of significant works produced and donated by these leading figures at the Siyakhula Michaelis Auction on 16 October at the art school, will be a landmark occasion.

This new initiative is driven by Berni Searle, director of the Cape Town art school at the University of Cape Town and a renowned artist. Funds raised by the auction will be used towards comprehensive scholarships to promising students from historically disadvantaged backgrounds, ensuring greater racial diversity at the university. In this way established artists will pave the way for the next generation, living up to the title Siyakhula, which in isiXhosa means ‘together we grow’.

When you consider some of Michaelis’s leading graduates –  Nandipha Mntambo, Lisa Brice and Marlene Dumas – it becomes clear how life-changing this scholarship could be for a young artist.

Contemporary art auctions are a new phenomenon in SA, with the first one taking place in Cape Town in February 2018. Artists with proven records at auctions – Sue Williamson, Deborah Bell and Georgina Gratrix – will feature in the Siyakhula Michaelis Auction alongside those who have never tested this territory such as new comers Rory Emmett, Bronwyn Katz and Siwa Mgoboza. This will set new records for these artists.

Highlights of the auction will include an editioned photographic work by Athi-Patra Ruga, Illulwane #1, a 2012 work documenting a performance work he created for Performa, a performance art festival in New York. With his astonishing track record and his first London solo exhibition coming up at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in October, it is likely to fetch the R85 045 estimate.  With a focus on ethereal performance works Donna Kukama rarely produces objects. As such a photographic work titled Se Sa Feleng… (3) from 2012 will prove a highly coveted item, particularly given it could be snapped up for R24 000.

Aspire Art Auctions will be conduct a live auction in the Hiddingh Hall at the Michaelis School of Fine Art on the 16th October 2018. An online auction will take place on the their website prior to that date. Bidder registration will open on 1 October, and at the same time a digital catalogue will be released on

The auction is supported by various pro-bono contributions from, amongst others, Aspire Art Auctions, Scan Shop printers, Krone wines and Corrigall & Co art advisors. Those who believe in supporting grass roots artists, racial diversity at tertiary levels and the value of education are encouraged to particpate and bid generously.

Details: Auction: 16 October 2018

Online Auction: 10 – 17 October 2018

Location: Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT

Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town

Contact: Nadja on / 0823165272

About Michaelis: The Michaelis School of Fine Art is a leading art school on the African continent. It counts as some of its noted graduates. Honorary Doctorates have been awarded by Michaelis to artists such as David Goldblatt, El Anatsui and William Kentridge. Artworks by some of these high-profile artists will be on the auction.

Artists are available for interviews – please contact Nadja on / 0823165272 to arrange