South African art lovers and buyers who relish the opportunity to meet their favourite contemporary African visual artists in their private workspaces and personally engage the artists about their creative process will be delighted to hear that August House is hosting its popular Open Studio event on Sunday, September 2.
The event is being held as part of Joburg Art Week and not only sees more than 60 August House artists opening up their private studio spaces to the public, but also provides visitors with the exclusive opportunity to discuss the artworks on hand with the artists and even purchase them, on the spot, from the artist.
“As an art institution, August House works hard to provide platforms for our artists to network and engage with both the greater art world and the public. We do this through events like pop-up group exhibitions in corporate spaces and, of course, our Open Studios, which have proven to be incredibly popular among the local and African art fraternity.
"This year’s event is even more auspicious, due to its inclusion in the Joburg Art Week programme as a fringe event to the upcoming FNB Joburg Art Fair,” says Kate Ballenden, general manager of August House.
To this end, the event is being positioned as the Open Studio Art Affair - a sideline art fair that emphasises personal engagement with the artists in their studios. This complements the format of the FNB Joburg Art Fair, where works are displayed in a formal gallery setting, in the absence of the artists who created them.
The art fair takes place after the Open Studio Art Affair, which is on from September 6-9.
August House is renowned for its Open Studio events, which run two to three times a year, with the express purpose of stimulating personal engagement with both artists and their works, allowing the public to “invest in art, and invest in people”.
A classic 1940s industrial building in Doornfontein, August House is a legendary five-storey artists’ hub with a 12-year history in the art world.
August House. Picture: Supplied
It incubates, stimulates and supports emerging contemporary African fine artists and has established itself as an independent art house accommodating more than 50 independent pan-African artists, all under one roof in private art studios.
Together, these artists collaborate with, mentor and incubate other young artists, in what is possibly the largest community of pan-African fine artists, all housed in one place, in the country.
The venue has grown through the establishment of the broader artistic culture and community that is being carefully cultivated here by the artists, their equity, their personalities and investments in the arts.
The Open Studio Art Affair takes place from 10.30am to 4pm, with the official opening at 12pm (second floor) on Sunday, September 2.
Artist Stompie Selibe’s band, Recycling Sound, will provide the music for the event - with indigenous jazz pieces that promise to lend a distinctly African flavour to the day.