Oliewenhuis Art Museum desires to stimulate the appreciation of art by the greater public through its latest exhibition in collaboration with the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation. The museum is currently hosting the annual Free State exhibition of the Art Bank of South Africa, showcasing the works of various emergent talents from around the country.
The exhibits have been chosen out of over 200 submissions received for consideration in October 2018 by the Art Bank. “We have had to send out a public call to artists around the country through various media platforms to submit five works to us. We then assembled committees of experts from around the country made up of experts before the submissions were narrowed down,” said Assistant Project Manager at Oliewenhuis, Nkosinathi Gumede. Gumede stated that apart from the exhibition in Bloemfontein there would be three others in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.
Project Manager, Nonto Msomi, took visitors, who included a lively crowd of students, through a walkabout of the exhibits where they learned about the artists and subject matter of the photographic and painted pieces. “She gave them a tour to introduce them to the entity itself and how they could benefit from us. Over and above that they learn about how we lay out an exhibition, how to read visual vocabulary in art and interpret paintings,” said Gumede.
“The theory is, if I can get you to fall in love with art, you will in turn start appreciating art and buy it,” he added. The museum not only seeks to improve the appreciation of art but the economy as well through purchasing the works of local artists.
The Art Bank is tasked with purchasing artworks from South African artists, particularly that of emerging artists in order to lease and sell the artworks to South African government departments, private companies and private individuals.
The exhibition, Tswela Pele: New Acquisitions of the Art Bank of South Africa, features selected and purchased will be on show until 10 March 2019. – Nomaqhawe Mtebele