TREASURED WHEELS: Artist Zavick, aka Superdog, cycles his treasured bike in The Iziko Planetarium. Photo: Younghee Ko

TODAY you are invited to take your most treasured item to the Iziko Museum SA and Planetarium in Queen Victoria Street where your portrait will be taken and you will receive a certificate from the museum as part of the celebrations of International Museum Day.

Zavick, aka Superdog, who curated the show with the theme, Looking to the Future, said: “It has been a most interesting exercise asking the general public to bring in their treasured objects to be documented on video and through photography.

“Many women want to bring their children in and one woman brought in her teeth. We are finding most people have two objects they treasure, one that their mother or father passed on to them and then they have their own contemporary object that is sentimental to them.

“One older chap brought in a tin of tuna from around World War II that was given to him by his mother, while a youngster wanted his new iPhone photographed as that is his contemporary object of treasure. A deaf artist brought in her artwork and did sign language to explain the meaning behind her artwork and one lady brought in her crystal and asked the crystal a number of questions, which we filmed.”

Today is equally Africa Day and the theme for International Museum Day is being carried forward to today’s celebrations. “We are asking on Africa Day, what is your most prized possession that makes you who you are as a person living in Africa,” says Zavick, “and how would you like your story preserved for future generations?”

Africa Day is held on May 25 across our continent to commemorate the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963. The body is now known as the African Union (AU) and has 54 members.

“As a matter of fact,” adds Zavick, “Africa Day is not only celebrated in the African countries, but also in the Asian, European and American countries such as Kazakhstan, Ireland, Belgium and the US. By celebrating this event, all countries in the world agree that African states deserve their independence, rights and welfare.”

Five African artists – sneaker customiser Atang Tshikare, skateboard shaper Kent Lingeveldt, fashion designer, artist and cultural entrepreneur Zavick, aka Supadog, ceramic artist John Bauer, aka the Doily Lama, and architect Mokena Makeka – have live installations on show today at the Iziko Planetarium.

“The idea is that we are here as working artists in this creative museum space and that we invite the public to enjoy a creative interaction with us as we find out what they most treasure,” says Zavick.

It is refreshing that Iziko Museums of Cape Town are engaging directly with the community and that they pride themselves as being spaces for “cultural interaction, sharing diverse perspectives and seeing things differently”.

Iziko is an isiXhosa word meaning “hearth”, as in places of meeting and centres of cultural activity where ideas can be exchanged and stories shared. Motivated by this ethos, Iziko Museums of Cape Town are essentially African museums that aim to empower and inspire our communities to engage with each other, share their stories, celebrate and respect our rich and diverse heritage.

Skateboard shaper Lingeveldt is using exotic pine to make skateboards and he will collaborate with Zavick, who specialises in working with denim, to create a denim skateboard which they will auction off.

“I would love if the public brought in their old jeans for recycling so I can make new artworks out of them,” says Zavick.

“The public are invited to come chat to us about our art processes, even if they are not bringing in an object they treasure.”

l The public are invited to bring in their most treasured object today from 1pm and 5pm to the Iziko Museum SA & Planetarium, 25 Queen Victoria Street. Entrance to all Iziko Museums (excluding The Castle of Good Hope) is free on Africa Day. Call 021 481 3804. See Call 082 5566 808, or see www. or kent.lingeveldt johnthepotter atang.tshikare or www.makekade