EXCEPTIONAL: One of the artists participating in the exhibition, Fathima Variyawa, receives the Cfad Student Award.

A much-anticipated event on the local arts calendar is The Centre for Fine Arts Animation and Design (Cfad) annual Student Portfolio Exhibition, which runs until January 27 at the Durban Art Gallery. The exhibition showcases the next generation of industry groundbreakers from Cfad’s first-year to final-year students as they exhibit their unique collection of works in animation, fine art, design and multimedia.

This year the exhibition will focus on rhino-poaching art works. Elaborating on the show, fine arts lecturer and Cfad spokesperson Nathi Gumede said: “In terms of the subject matter being rhino poaching, the design lecturer has given the students this project to work on.

“Some of the works are created from empowerment issues and this varied from first to third years, so there are different responses, and rhino poaching was one of the issues that the students decided to use.”

So how does one try to make each Portfolio Exhibition different and unique from the previous one?

“Each year, there are different students who participate, hence there is different work.

“Also, the content is different and the manner in which we lay out the exhibition is unique in terms of the subject matter and the dramatic ideas.”

Chatting about the works themselves, Gumede said they were inspiring and could be considered high-calibre art pieces.

“When you review the show, you can see that it’s a school that holds its own. It’s a powerful show and it’s work that could have been produced by professionals that have been in the creative industry for years. Cfad produces a work of quality.”

In a press release, award-winning cartoonist and Cfad founder Dr Nanda Soobben said: “Cfad is proud to bring you an exhibition of the highest calibre, in keeping with our own high standards, which will showcase the talented offerings of the centre’s up-and-coming creatives who are leaving their mark in the industry.”

The exhibition also includes an audio-visual extravaganza, which features a body of work from more than 200 students from three cities, namely Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Cape Town.

Gumede said: “Within that, it’s a video projection that consists of a large number of different animations. From Cape Town, we focused on 3D, and with Durban we’re showing 2D. So those who attend can expect to be amazed. I had lectured my students and have given them the opportunity to tackle many issues and they have reflected on Mother Nature, contemporary issues, day-to-day issues and how they respond to it.

“The themes vary, but they are brilliant and exciting. I would encourage people to go and see the exhibition. Not only will they see exciting work, but they get to see the next crop of future designers.

“For industry players, they should go see a kind of gift of what Durban has to offer in terms of new members in this industry.”

• The exhibition runs until January 27 at the Durban Art Gallery. For info, call 031 240 8402 or visit www.cfad.co.za.