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The META foundation has instigated the largest joint open studios to ever happen in Johannesburg.

Six studio spaces, in the CDB, will be opening their doors, inviting the public to meet the artists in their studios and to view their artwork. The META foundation started this project with a soft launch in May, combining two studio spaces, namely August House and Ellis House. This iteration of the event will be even larger and will include 2 days of open studios with 6 studio spaces participating. This is the first time something of this nature has been done in Johannesburg and will allow the public to interact with almost 100 artists from different countries, cities and artists at different stages of their careers. This is a unique opportunity for the public to truly explore the visual arts and hear directly from the artists.

The event will take place over 2 days, Saturday 30 October and Sunday 31 October with 3 studios being open on each day.

Saturday 30 October from 11am to 3pm
Ellis House
Living Artist Emporium
Victoria Yards

Sunday 31 October from 11am to 3pm
Bag Factory Artists’ Studios
Nugget Square
August House

In order to make this event as visitor-friendly as possible, a shuttle service between the spaces will be provided free of charge to the public. Guests can park at one of the studios and catch a bus. There will be two buses that move in a loop around the studios with a bus being available every 15/20 minutes. All the spaces will be offering public programmes that will run throughout the day.

Bag Factory

Participating artists: Sandile Radebe, Kagiso Pat Mautloa, Bev Butkow, Candice Kramer, Henrietta Scholtz, Phumulani Ntuli, Kutlo Mabua (Art Connection Africa/Bag Factory Artist in Residency), Lebogang Mabusela, Princia Matungulu and Kutlwano Monyai (YWSB 2021/2022 recipients), Wezile Mgibe, LL Editions and Richard Specs Ndimande

The Bag Factory is a non-profit contemporary visual art organisation in Newtown, Johannesburg. With a pioneering 30-year history of providing a supportive infrastructure for artists, the Bag Factory is unique in combining art-making with cultural debate and art exhibitions, thereby creating a fertile international environment for experimentation, innovation, and cultural dialogue between creatives in South Africa and the rest of the world. We provide studio space to a cross-generational community of Johannesburg based artists, and we host a prestigious international artist and curator residency programme.

They present regular exhibitions in our gallery that showcase new work by emerging artists to the wider public, and we also support the professional development of artists and curators through workshops, mentorship, and the prestigious David Koloane and Cassirer Welz awards. All our programmes are accompanied by a public programme that encourages a greater understanding of contemporary visual art and stimulates interaction between artists and the local community. We are affiliated with the international Triangle

Ellis House

Participating artists: Lehohonolo Mashaba, Phumzile Buthelezi, Cassius Khumalo, Tusevo Landu, Semi Lubisi, Mncedi Madolo, Siyabonga Mlambi, Thokozani  Madonsela, Stephen Langa, Thulani Nhlapo, Bamanye Ngxale and Thokozani  Mthiyani

Nestled between iconic landmarks Ellis Park and Troyeville Hotel in the inner-city neighbourhood of New Doornfontein, Ellis House Art Studios is a 5-storey building housing an eclectic mix of emerging and established artists.

Established in 2012 by Ian Blacher, this light industrial warehouse – previously a textile factory – has been transformed into private studio spaces of varying sizes. Ellis House is home to over 30 artists as well as The Labyrinth Project: a platform for artistic exchange and interdisciplinary experiment. Ellis House features multiple exhibition and workshop spaces, Audio-Visual facilities and prides itself on the fact that all creative programming is artist-led. Notable past and present tenants include Nandipha Mntambo, Blessing Ngobeni, Reshma Chhiba, Colbert Mashile (current tenant), Ayana Jackson (also still a tenant), the experimental rock group Blk Jks and many more.

Within easy distance of August House, Victoria Yards and the Maboneng Arts on Main district, Ellis House has become an important node of the greater creative/cultural hub in inner-city Johannesburg.

August House

Participating artists: Andrew Ntshabele, Arlindo Maunde, Fatima Tayob Moosa, Fathema Bemath, Jibril, Linjoum Achu, Jemmiro, Johan Stegmann, Khotso Motsoeneng, Lindo Zwane, Malose Pete, Mashir Kresenshun, Mbongeni Fakudze, Mbongeni Mhlongo, Mbulali IV, Michael Selekane, Michele Rolstone, Mpho Nkadimeng, Navel Seakamela, Ntsikelelo Mzibomvu, Nyakallo Maleke, Olwethu de Vos, Patrick Seruwu, Percy Maimela, Petros Mwenga, Richard Ramotoana Mokgomme, Roland Gunst/ John K Cobra, Sam Nhlengethwa, Sanusi Olatunji, Siphiwe Makgoka, Siphamandla Ex, Solomon Omogboye, Teboho Makoatsa, Terence Maluleke, Thamba Tabvuma, Themba Khumalo, Themba Shabalala, Thembinkosi Sinalo Ntuli, Tivani Mabulele, Treatwell Mnisi, Vivien Kohler and Zakes Msane

In Johannesburg’s inner city lies an exclusive art building, housing more than 40 independent, pan-African contemporary artists, in private art studios, known to the locals as ‘The Artists’ Playground’. To the outsider it’s just a 1940s historic structure until one crosses the threshold and sees where the magic lives, in five stories of private art studios. August House is the largest Artist community in Johannesburg and perhaps South Africa, with 53 artists housed within the building.

August House gives artists a unique creative hub. With its high columns, authentic architecture and large open plan floors, it’s a wonderful blend of inspiration and stillness. Once a light industrial warehouse space, August House celebrates 15 years as a well established, local and international contemporary African artists community, within walking distance from the Maboneng, Arts on Main district.

August House was established as an enclave for artists in 2006 by Bie Venter and Maria Svane. Its notable tenants have included artists such as Mary Sibanda, Dineo Seshee Bopape and Lawrence Lemaoana,  Mbongeni Richman Buthelezi, Gordon Froud and Joseph Gaylard, Nontobeko Ntombela, Gabi Ngcobo, Gonçalo Mabunda, Jacki McInnes, Nelson Makamo, Bie Venter, Kudzanai Chiurai and Nicholas Hlobo. The space has both survived and thrived. The building was sold in 2016 and during the transition more formal studio spaces were created for young up and coming artists.

While August House was created to initially provide studio space for local artists, the space has extended its programming in order to provide support and development for the artists and the visual arts industry as a whole. It does this through its non-profit arm, the META foundation.


Participating artists: Danisile Njoli, Stoffel Mogano, Isaac Mkhwanazi, John Nkosi, Shadrack Bosman, Wisdom Vangani, Sabelo Mkhaliphi, Splash Motong, Conrad Bo, Nisty Chatha and Pro Thusi

Living Artists Emporium is a Creative Project Space and Contemporary Art Gallery that provides a platform for artists to create & exhibit cutting edge art. Lack of resources, artistic guidance and direction are all factors emerging artists are facing today. Living Artist Emporium (LAE) is addressing these challenges by providing the necessary infrastructure, studios and exhibition channels to enable our artists to build their careers.

Our slogan “Breaking the rules of art” is against the grain of the norm.  Today there are so many new and diverse ways of artistic expression that we asked the question of what the rules of art are and who is making them? We decided to follow our own path by pushing the boundaries and will break any supposed rule of art that is prescribed to us. With this platform, LAE is creating new ground in the art industry by offering high-quality contemporary art as an investment for the future and the opportunity to invest in the early stages of an artist’s career.

The event is free and open to all members of the public. Access will be refused to anyone not wearing a mask or members of the public not adhering to social distancing obligations.

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