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ART SOUTH AFRICA Art Talks at the Cape Town Art Fair

Art South Africa is hosting the Art Talks at the Cape Town Art Fair on Saturday 1 March; to be held at the IMAX Theatre, BMW Pavilion, V&A Waterfront. The Talks will feature a host of panel discussion and talks, covering topics ranging from ‘The Art Economy and Audiences’ to ‘Urban Acupuncture.’ Featuring top artists, designers, curators and creatives, the Art South Africa Art Talks are sure to be a highlight of the upcoming Cape Town Art Fair
 

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Full Art Talks Schedule – Sat 1 March 2014:
 
10:30 – 11:30 THE ART ECONOMY AND AUDIENCES
A panel discussion on creating new forms of access, ownership, attendance and participation for creative products and services, particularly in the visual arts sector. Looking at ways to grow the art economy at a more accessible level, that will allow or encourage potential collectors that don’t have lots of disposable income to begin to invest in artworks. What are galleries, arts institutions and art fairs doing to incentivise, grow and attract new audiences and create access to individuals who may be interested in buying art? How does one view the economy of the exhibition? The discussion aims to look at logical and practical ways we can begin to have a more inclusive art market/economy for collectors and audiences. In particular, how do platforms like the Cape Town Art Fair and other events assist in supporting and achieving this objective, particularly with a view to growing and sustaining an intra-African and intra-regional network of collectors.
 
Chair: Brendon Bell-Roberts
Brendon Bell-Roberts is Co-founder of the SUSTAIN our AFRICA Summit, Expo and Festival and the CHANGE AGENT Communications Consultancy. His projects combine creativity, sustainability and positive change, helping to define the future Africa. For the past 20 years Brendon has been designing, curating and publishing. With more than 100 major publications and exhibitions, under his belt, he has helped launch the careers of many of South Africa’s top artists and creatives. Together with his wife Suzette he is the founder and publisher of Art South Africa magazine, which has evolved into a digital platform in keeping with his focus on the role of creativity, sustainability and positive change in the African digital revolution.
 
Panelists:
Ijeoma Uche Okeke
Nigerian-born and Johannesburg-based, Ijeoma worked for over 3 years as the arts projects manager at the prestigious Gallery MOMO in Johannesburg, and is an independent researcher, cultural facilitator and project manager. She has over ten years of professional experience in the arts and culture sector as an administrator, curator and facilitator, and has worked actively as an arts and culture manager in both the creative and performing arts sectors in Nigeria, and more recently in South Africa. She has a BA (Hons) in Fine and Applied Arts, from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, a PGD in Arts and Culture Management and an MA in Heritage Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. She was recently appointed the Regional Network Development Manager at the Visual Arts Network South Africa (VANSA).
 
Thembinkosi Goniwe
Thembinkosi Goniwe is an artist and art historian currently lecturing at the Vaal University of Technology, having also lectured at the University of Fort Hare, University of the Witwatersrand, and University of Cape Town. A curator of notable exhibitions and contributor of essays, Goniwe has participated in exhibitions, residencies, conferences and workshops locally and internationally.
 
Tshepiso Bathea Mohlala
Tshepiso Mohlala is the creator and director of the !Kauru Contemporary African Art Project, which she launched in 2012.  Through this project, Tshepiso aims to create a dialogue within Africa – and also internationally – about ourselves, in order to facilitate a change of perceptions about the continent utilising the vehicle of contemporary art.
Tshepiso has 15 years experience in the field of marketing and advertising, working for blue chip companies such as BMW (South Africa) Audi AG (Germany and South Africa) and Sony Ericsson.  She has the experience of working on high profile events such as, the Lion King CSI Project, Fifa 2010 Opening and Closing ceremony. Her company Back-to-Back Experiential Marketing is managing the !Kauru African Contemporary Art Project. !Kauru provides a platform for African contemporary artists and cultural practitioners, on which to engage around a showcase of contemporary art sourced from the continent. It also aims to sensitize South African and African audiences to the value of their own contemporary art production and to promote the appreciation of quality contemporary art from the continent
 
Beathur Mgoza Baker
Beathur Mgoza Baker is the director and co-founder of INCA – Independent Collectors of Art in Africa – a new organisation championing inclusivity and facilitating the participation of new and emerging collectors of art in the continent’s arts economy. Going beyond the confines of the traditional ‘white cube’ and its inherent limitations, INCA is creating innovative and stimulating forms of engagement for collectors across the socio-economic spectrum in Africa, to afford them better access and exposure to artists and their artwork.
An accomplished media executive, curator and development activist in the visual arts and cultural sector, Beathur is also an award-winning African filmmaker. Her experience and expertise extends across broadcasting, film, art, culture and heritage; her current focus being the growth in access to the visual arts for Africans, via experiential new forms of audience engagement and development, and more inclusivity at all economic levels.
 
12:00 – 13:00 INDEPENDENT ART PUBLISHING
A panel discussion on independent and bespoke art and design publishing. Topics focused on will include the publishing of editions, as well as collaborations between studios and publishing houses. It will look at publishing of editions as an affordable purchase for young collectors, and how independent publishing is used to broaden audiences and inspire creativity.
Publications such as Art South Africa and DesignTimes inspire important conversations around African and South African creativity. Collaboration is key in independent publishing; Warren Editions focus is on all things collaborative. As a highly respected and well-known agency, Am I Collective collaborates with independent studios and publishers to create works that bring illustration and design to the forefront. Bespoke publications and editions are an easily accessible way for audiences to be inspired and collect affordable limited edition pieces, as well as a valuable site of collaboration across creative sectors.
 
Chair: Matthew Partridge
Matthew Partridge is an arts writer based in Johannesburg. He has written for publications including Art South Africa, Artthrob, Mail & Guardian and The Financial Mail.
 
Panelists:
Brendon Bell-Roberts
Brendon Bell-Roberts is Co-founder of the SUSTAIN our AFRICA Summit, Expo and Festival and the CHANGE AGENT Communications Consultancy. His projects combine creativity, sustainability and positive change, helping to define the future Africa. For the past 20 years Brendon has been designing, curating and publishing. With more than 100 major publications and exhibitions, under his belt, he has helped launch the careers of many of South Africa’s top artists and creatives. Together with his wife Suzette he is the founder and publisher of Art South Africa magazine, which has evolved into a digital platform in keeping with his focus on the role of creativity, sustainability and positive change in the African digital revolution.
 
Mark Rosenberg
Mark Rosenberg is the Founder and Editor of DesignTimes, a bi-monthly newspaper dedicated to design, photography and illustration, with over 50 issues in 5 years. The main focus of the publication was graphic design, web design and photography, but has broadened our focus to include fashion, architecture, product, interior, game, industrial and jewellery design. DesignTimes keeps it’s readers exposed to world trends from local to international design. DesignTimes is well on it’s way to becoming South Africa’s design publication of choice, with sights set on Southern Africa.
 
Ruan Vermeulen
Ruan Vermeulen is a Partner and Creative Director at Am I Collective; a Cape Town based agency that offers award-winning creative solutions to clients across the globe in packaging and CI design, animation direction, typography and illustration. They have collaborated on various creative art and design projects, including 13, an edition of etchings, with Warren Editions printmaking studio, and the cover of an issue of Art South Africa magazine.
 
Zhané Warren
Zhané Warren is the master printer and project space director at Warren Editions, a Cape Town based printmaking studio and fine art publisher. She studied Fine Art at Stellenbosch University, and in 2006 achieved a Masters Degree in Technology of Fine Art form the University of Johannesburg.  Awarded a scholarship, she attended the Karel de Grote Hogeskool at the University of Antwerp, and remained in Belgium for five years working alongside renowned artists and printmakers. In 2007 she returned to South Africa as a recognised master printer. As a visual and performance artist, Zhané Warren has staged numerous performances and exhibitions, in South Africa and abroad. Solo Exhibitions include Live with me (KZN Gallery, Durban, 2007), Recurrence (Art on Paper, Johannesburg, 2006), and In between here and there (with Robert van Dromme at Contemporary Wei, Antwerp). Her work is represented in various collections, in South Africa and Belgium. In 2008, Zhané Warren founded Warren Editions. Collaborating with established and emerging artists, Warren Editions is a dynamic printmaking studio and publisher of fine art prints. With its inaugural show, 5 Years in Print, she launched in 2013 Warren Editions Projects, an exhibition space and platform for the studio’s print collaborations. Zhané Warren is a respected authority on printmaking and fine art publishing, and a passionate educator, as reflected in the studio’s internship programme and popular workshops.
14:30 – 15:30 DAVID KRUT & STEPHEN HOBBS ON COLLABORATION, NETWORKS AND ARTISTIC PRACTICE
A conversation between David Krut and Stephen Hobbs, focusing on the sustained collaboration between their two studios. Hobbs’ studio and the David Krut Print Workshop (DKW) at Arts on Main are geographically close to each other in the Johannesburg inner city, and both spaces function as extensions of the city, open to discussion about art and urban regeneration, strategically aligning different talents to the ends of reflective and creative writing, exhibitions, publishing and audience development. Arts on Main, particularly, functions as a hub for the networking of various talents, thought processes and modes of production. The conversation will touch on the importance of publishing and promoting editions, the distillation of Hobbs’ mercurial public/urban practice into a studio practice, and the role of the print studio for a process-driven artist. The conversation will deal with the extension of the collaboration between Hobbs and DK Projects in Cape Town in 2014. The planned project includes a site-specific investigation of the Montebello Design Centre in Newlands, where the gallery is based, and a response to the contribution of the site to the World Design Capital 2014 discussion.
 
David Krut
David Krut made a major career change in 1980, which allowed him to devote his time to his passion for books and artworks on paper. In 1981 he published his first edition- a complex intaglio print by British artist Joe Tillson, which led to a close working relationship with master printer Jack Sheriff at 107 Workshop in Wiltshire, England. Krut was fortunate to be mentored by Alan Cristea – the most important contemporary publisher of editions in the world. On regular visits to his family in South Africa he brought exhibitions he had curated of contemporary British, American and Italian printmakers. In 1992 he invited William Kentridge to make editions with Jack Sheriff. By the late 1990’s Krut had curated print exhibitions of the artist’s editions in Chicago, Washington DC and New York, and to date has published over 200 of the artist’s editions. In 1997 David Krut Publishing (DKP) conceived and produced the William Kentridge CD-ROM, an interactive platform to present the artists multi-media activities. In 1999 he undertook the publishing of the TAXI Art Book series, with funding from the French, Dutch and Swiss governments and the National Arts Council. The TAXI books form a series of 15 full colour artist monographs, written, produced, printed and published in South Africa, and concluded with each book having an educational supplement, to provide teachers material for arts education in South Africa. He continued his mentorship program encouraging writing and design in South Africa. Having invited various Master Printers from New York to collaborate with Johannesburg artists, he subsequently established his own printworkshop/ publishing house/bookstore/gallery in Johannesburg in 1992 that led to the extended art strip on Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood. In 2007, David Krut Projects was established at the Montebello Design Centre in Cape Town, and in 2009 an enlarged David Krut Projects space was established at Arts on Main in downtown Johannesburg. The printworkshop is managed by Master Printer Jillian Ross who has collaborated with more than 100 artists from South Africa; while the book publishing activity has published more than 50 books.
 
Stephen Hobbs
Through an extended practice of urban investigation and experimentation, focused particularly on Johannesburg since 1994, Hobbs has sustained a dialogue with urban space through video, installation, special curated projects and an interrelated approach to photography and sculpture. In recent years, Hobbs’ practice has extended to include a serious engagement with printmaking, which distils and translates his mercurial urban practice into the formalism of the medium. Hobbs’ particular fascination with the conflicted social and political changes in Johannesburg has resulted in numerous observations on the precarious state of cities undergoing radical physical change. Stephen Hobbs graduated from Wits University with a BAFA in 1994. He was the curator of the Market Theatre Galleries (Johannesburg) from 1994 to 2000. Since 2001, he has co-directed the artist collaborative and public art specialist – The Trinity Session, The Gallery Premises (closed 2008) at the Joburg Theatre, and since 2004 has coproduced a range of urban and network focused projects, with Marcus Neustetter, under the collaborative name Hobbs/Neustetter.
 
16:30 – 17:30  URBAN ACUPUNCTURE
A panel discussion on Urban Acupuncture: small-scale but socially catalytic interventions to transform the larger urban context; looking at the role that public spaces, art and design play in an urban environment. With Cape Town as the World Design Capital 2014, the world’s focus is on this urban centre, and the ways that we use design to solve problems, improve environments and facilitate creativity. The discussions aims to look at the innovations that are taking place in the urban environment, and the way individuals are using their creativity to affect positive change. The role public art plays in cities, and community’s relationships with public spaces, will be discussed in relationship to the concept of urban acupuncture.
 
Chair: Mike van Graan
Mike van Graan is the Executive Director of the Cape Town-based African Arts Institute (AFAI) whose mission is to help develop leadership for Africa’s creative sector, and to build regional markets for African artists and their creative works. He was the founding Secretary General of Arterial Network, a pan-African network of artists, cultural activists, creative enterprises and others engaged in the African creative sector, and its contribution to human rights, democracy and development. He serves as a Technical Expert on UNESCO’s 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. He is the Associate Playwright of Artscape – a state-subsidized theatre in South Africa – and has garnered a number of awards for his plays that interrogate the post-apartheid condition.
 
Panelists:
Christopher Swift
Cape Town based environmental artist, Chris Swift creates ways of commenting on the aspects that affect environmental impact through the re-appropriation of found object. In his view, everything is interconnected, therefore it is impossible to truly alter the plight of environment – urban/rural/wild – without understanding the historical, political, social, industrial and ecological forces that shape them. The objects of found detritus Swift utilizes in his installations are visual queues that collectively offer a more complete story. Swift’s motivation is the stimulating effect his visual recipes have on discourse and perceptions, that may lead to alternative ways of thinking of environmental challenges with an imperative toward their solution.
 
Andi Norton
Andi is the Managing Director of Imagine Inc., a Community Impact company based in Stellenbosch. Using strategic marketing, intensive Needs Analysis and project management skills, Imagine Inc. works on projects where urban art and design are used to significantly impact and enhance quality of life. Projects include annual exhibitions of public art in Stellenbosch which bring sculpture by some of the country’s finest artists to the streets for all to enjoy; the Nelson Mandela installation in front of the Stellenbosch town hall designed by Strijdom van der Merwe, installations of Dylan Lewis sculptures internationally and locally, the KickstART outreach project which actively seeks and mentors creative teenagers, and community design projects in Kayamandi. Imagine Inc. is currently working on the transformation of a number of neglected urban spaces in the Western Cape, using art and design to create places of interaction and community enrichment. Andi is a trustee of the Stellenbosch Outdoor Sculpture Trust and a sits on the board of Imbadu.
 
Siphiwe Ngwenya
Ngwenya is the modern day Imhotep, a master poet, painter, illustrator, conceptualist, explorer and self taught social scientist. When he returned from a science expedition that took him from his home town, Alexandra Township, to the Antarctica in January of 2008, not only did he come back with a mobile solar and wind powered workstation for his neighborhood to see, he proved to the South African community that his career is about more than offering social solutions for a youth in peril. Today Ngwenya is a young man who is even proposing solutions for the South African energy and arts and culture crisis. Ngwenyaʼs music, art and message has always been reserved for something of much higher significance. As a vanguard of Hip Hop culture and expression, he is the founding member of South Africaʼs pop phenomenon, Skwatta Kamp. Keeping to his philosophy of the home being the epicenter of cultural affairs, Ngwenya has found himself turning more than 50 peopleʼs homes in townships around South Africa into galleries. Ngwenya collaborates with scientists, archeologists, engineers and artists for the advancement of a progressive South African culture. He does it always with the intention of cultivating a success record for developing young minds and saving lives.
 
Ricky Lee Gordon
Ricky Lee Gordon (aka Freddy Sam) is a curator, art activist and painter from South Africa.
He paints large-scale street murals to connect and share his art with people from all walks of life. This has led him to travel the world, painting on the streets of South Africa to big cities and small villages across Africa – like the Gambia, Rwanda and Swaziland – and further afield, in places like Nepal, Morocco, Berlin, Istanbul, USA and many more. “I believe removing the greyness from the soul of the city is the job of artists, musicians and poets. “ Colour Ikamva is Ricky’s latest, project founded with Megan King in 2013; an idea created to serve ‘Quality Education in Inspiring Spaces’. ‘We believe that love can inspire genius, and love can express itself in the environments we choose to create around us. It is our job, together with the students of disadvantaged schools across South Africa, to create environments conducive to life’. Ricky founded /A WORD OF ART artist residency and gallery in 2008, curating numerous exhibitions and large-scale projects under the /AWOA platform. Closing down in 2013 to focus on Colour Ikamva /AWOA will open its doors again to artists from around the world in 2015.  He has won numerous awards for his art, entrepreneurship and community orientated work, as well as being invited to be a curator on the panel for World Design Capital 2014.
 
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