Posts tagged "international public art festival"

Salt River shows off its sexy new look

Children help Julia Mary Grey with her mosaic

It has been the brightest of weeks in Salt River and scores of people from all over Cape Town and beyond are expected to come out to celebrate this weekend. More than 30 artists have painted the suburb every shade of red and many others besides during Cape Town’s first International Public Art Festival.

Every time I have been down there the artists have been surrounded by children, many of them eager to help. The children of this neighbourhood have claimed the project as their own and have done a lot more than dab the odd bit of paint here and there.

A 125-metre wall in Dove Street, entirely the work of local youngsters completed with guidance from artists, including Hajila, is a legacy of and for a community that has opened doors, walls, hearts and homes.

Senzo Nhlapo ©Senzart911

The fun and festivities are due to climax this weekend when the final touches will be put to the artworks, and many locals and visitors will come out to celebrate and admire the neighbourhood’s brand new look.

The festival is a launchpad for various other programmes, all of which will use art as a platform for education and upliftment. Some of these have already started with local children among the beneficiaries with art classes being held at the Blackpool football club and at two schools.

There will be various art-focused activities at and around the Blackpool football club this weekend. Many Salt River residents will be on hand to take visitors on tours of the suburb and its new art for a small fee. There will also be music and food (local delights prepared by people from the neighbourhood) as well as other entertainment.

It’s all happening in and around Blackpool football club, 9 Shelley Road, Salt River.

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Oh what a wonderful world … whatever the critics say

Reclaim the space: Youngsters get creative on a wall in Dove Street dedicated to the youth of Salt River and being painted by them under the guidance of artists

South Africa’s first International Public Art Festival is in full swing in Salt River with artists and local children changing the suburb by the day.

Long a lover of graffiti, I have swung by a few times this week and every time have found plenty of artists at work creating gob-smacking murals. The work is drawing children like magnets and there are always many more children at “work” than artists at every mural.

Artist Ruth Francis gets some guidance from local schoolchildren

You would have to have a heart of stone to not engage with these children but the artists are going further than getting their opinions and letting them dab a bit of paint here and there: they are running workshops and classes away from their creations to introduce these eager young people to the creative arts.

There have been some rumblings around town that the festival is somehow gentrification by stealth, that it is not what the residents of Salt River want, that it is being imposed on them by (I am guessing here) white monopoly capital/similar.

Surely carelessly applying this criticism to anything you don’t like, as if standing against gentrification is merely a fashion statement, confuses the real issues and steals air time and energy from the real battles?

As journalists we were particularly annoyed at this, left, which seemed like a pretty poor effort by the Cape Times on Tuesday.

The paper repeats questions/rumours about there being a lack of local artists and runs a picture of a large mural painted at the festival this week (I am reliably informed) by local graffiti/street artist DFeat447, aka Jason Redman, without crediting him.

Did they really not think to ask? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all hope for a correction and maybe even a little more effort next time …

Call Off The Search did a little research, privately canvassing the opinions of various locals. Without exception the feedback about the festival and organisers was positive, the only slightly tweezer-lipped responses coming from people whose houses weren’t being painted for whatever reason, for example slightly conservative parents having said no.

We also asked Warda Rahim, pictured, the much-loved head of the Salt River Civic, what she thought of the criticism. She told Call Off The Search that the organisers, the NPO Baz-Art, had been incredibly thorough in canvassing views in the neighbourhood and involving every one from the start. She expressed confidence about every aspect of this event, particularly about the educational aspect.

Also Baz-Art this week released a statement explaining the origins of the event and funding (entirely by the folks who had started it and for the love of art). They hope to raise money in the fullness of time to expand the festival and associated work but that is still a dream. Either way Baz-Art is a NPO and bound by that status.

Read the full statement and make up your own mind:

تم نشره بواسطة ‏‎International Public Art Festival – Cape Town – South Africa‎‏ في 14 فبراير، 2017

This weekend looks like it is going to be pretty epic, with the festival wrapping up with various events, including guided tours of the new works in the suburb, focused around the Blackpool football club in Shelley Road.

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The work speaks for itself, meet me at the wall!

Jack Fox, left, and Mak1one at the launch of the International Public Arts Festival PHOTOS Melissa Cucci

Mak1one looked like he was made for the stage at the launch of Cape Town’s International Public Art Festival in Salt River on Friday, but he clearly couldn’t wait to get off it and back to the wall he is painting as part of the festival.

The well-known Cape Town street artist said he was very excited to be there – “too excited to speak”, in fact.

Blood, sweat and spraypaint: Mak1one at work

He thanked the non-profit organisation Baz-Art, which has put the event together, saying that he knew that a lot of blood, sweat and spraypaint had gone into organising it.

The festival is a launchpad for various local upliftment projects, including art classes for children and support for local people trying to start small businesses that can be connected to art, be they small galleries or walking tours or food stalls.

Mak1one is one of 33 artists taking part in the festival, which runs from February 10-19. During the festival, artists will be creating their work under the watchful eyes of locals and visitors in the neighbourhood surrounding the Blackpool Football Club in Shelley Street, Salt River.

The festival is open and free to all to visit. If visitors want a more locally informed experience they can pay R100 and one of the newly trained Salt River guides will take them on a walking tour.

Mak1one told the crowd gathered for the launch, largely local residents and art fans, that he felt he didn’t have too much to say. “The work we create will tell the stories … Meet me at the wall!”

“Anyway don’t they say … A picture is worth a thousand words”

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Creativity on the streets with a craft beer, Cape Town-style

The Mother City’s newest art festival promises to bring art lovers out of the galleries and on to the streets – and they will possibly be swapping their delicate glasses of bubbles for craft beers.

Baz-Art, the company behind next month’s inaugural International Public Art Festival (IPAF), is a non-profit organisation that has been described as the “love child” of relationships that grew around the creation of Leopold 7 craft beer. The festival is just one part of Baz-Art’s plan to use art to improve people’s lives and environments.

Other aspects of the programme, to be launched during IPAF from Feb 10-20, include making neighbourhoods more beautiful and safer, giving art lessons to children and helping to get spin-off businesses, such as food stalls, cafes and galleries, off the ground.

Alexandre Tilmans, co-owner of Leopold 7 and a partner in Baz-Art, told the African News Agency (ANA) on Thursday that it was the process of creating, marketing and selling the craft beer that had “opened his eyes to the power of art”.

Crafty combo: Alexandre Tilmans, a partner in Leopold 7 and Baz-Art

Tilmans, who is currently building a brewery in Cape Town For Leopold 7, said he had collaborated closely with artists and designers in Cape Town. During this process, he said, he became aware of a large gap in the art world in South Africa.

In a city that is home to so many beautiful murals, Tilmans was amazed that public art was seen to have such negative connotations and that there was a municipal bylaw declaring graffiti an illegal act.

Despite all the art fairs and festivals and the excitement around the the imminent opening of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) at the V&A Waterfront, Tilmans said he was surprised that there was no event dedicated to public art.

“There is certainly no shortage of talent,” he said.

This was why Tilmans and Sebastien Charrieras, owner and director of XO Events, a company that specialises in events and incentives, decided to throw the “combined force of their skills, experience and passion into a project designed to uplift artists while transforming the communities around them and helping South African public art claim its rightful position in the global art world”.

The festival is a centrepiece of Baz-Art’s work and will be used to launch various other projects under the banners of education, international exchange and community upliftment.

The festival is timed to fall around the time of two other art events, the Cape Town Art Fair and That Art Fair. IPAF, the organisers say, will offer very different art and inspiration from what is on offer at the more traditional art events.

After The Rain Comes Sun After The Sun Comes Rain again by Faith47 and Mak1one

Baz-Art says it has the support of the local communities and authorities, as well as “a list that reads like the Who’s Who of the South African public art world”. Just a few of the artists who have expressed an interest in the festival are Faith47, Mak1one and Falko.

The inaugural festival will be focused on the district of Salt River, one of the communities where Baz-Art is developing educational and economic activities to encourage “inclusive community building and respect for the arts”. Baz-Art has set up a festival office at Blackpool Football Club in Salt River.

In the run-up to the festival, Baz-Art is identifying walls in the surrounding neighbourhood for artists to paint, making sure neighbours are happy with the plans and getting all the necessary sign-offs.

Each contributing artist will be given a space in Salt River to decorate as they choose. The murals will be designed to beautify the area, adding to Salt River’s unique character, and to engender a sense of pride in individuals behind the stories and those depicted in them.

Refugee Rights are Human Rights by Faith47 and Mak1one in District Six, Cape Town

Local people are being trained to take guided tours of the neighbourhood focusing on public art.

A number of other activities are planned for the festival, from live painting by street artists to music and street food and a programme of street tours.

The organisers say the 10-day festival will also be the launchpad for various long-term projects, including art classes for schoolchildren, with eight schools initially identified.

Another pillar of Baz-Art’s mission is to enhance South Africa’s role as an international hub for art. The company says it will work with existing art fairs and events and create new partnerships with players around the world to build Africa’s profile.

– African News Agency (ANA)