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ArcelorMittal South Africa and Southern Guild have collaborated to produce a a six-week exhibition of South African collectable design at the Everard Read Art Gallery in Johannesburg. The exhibition launched last week and runs until 9 September 2012.

The exhibition showcases Southern Guild’s 2012 collection of pieces, many of which have been made by designers working with fine artists. The annual Southern Guild Collection has become a highlight at the Joburg Art Fair. Artists and designers this year include William Kentridge, Conrad Botes, Brett Murray, Gregor Jenkin, Haldane Martin, Athi Patra, Michael McGarry, Egg, Tonic, Adriaan Hugo, Conrad Hicks, Ardmore, James Mudge, Silvio Rech, Pierre Swanepoel and many other luminary names. This year, Southern Guild will also be introducing a section dedicated to South African ceramicists.

Following the success of their initial collaboration with Southern Guild in 2011, ArcelorMittal SA, has committed to a long-term partnership to promote the on-going development of local design. “As the continent’s largest steel producer we believe there is a natural fit with Southern Guild. We are keen to develop the use of steel in the arts and to showcase it beyond its traditional industrial use,” says Nku Nyembezi-Heita, CEO of ArcelorMittal South Africa.

In December 2011 Southern Guild became the first African, and one of only 24 international galleries, to present at Design Miami, generally regarded as the world’s most important collectable design fair. “Southern Guild has achieved remarkable successes in its drive to put South African design on the world stage over the past six months”, says director Trevyn McGowan.

In March this year, Southern Guild was invited to show at Design Days Dubai in a showcase of 22 of the best galleries from around the world. This garnered an extraordinary response from the international media and public and has resulted in South African design now being shown by some of the top galleries and stores around the world, says McGowan.

To further broaden awareness of local design, the Southern Guild exhibition at the Everard Read Gallery will include a series of interactive events, including a Southern Guild Talks programme and guided gallery tours for the public as well as schools. It will also host the 2012 Southern Guild Design Foundation Awards, a non-profit organization established to bring about dynamic and targeted change in the Design Industry.

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