Featured: SJ Artists

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SJ Artists is a new kind of creative agency whose diverse offering has recently had them working with bubblegum murals, handpainted surfboards and high school students.


Founded and run by Shani Judes and recently joined by Brendan Joseph, SJ Artists is part exhibition curation, part large-scale mural project management and part artist management. The third providing an invaluable talent source for the first two.


Passionate about public/street art, the agency represents some of South Africa’s leading graffiti artists along with top local photographers, illustrators, story board artists, videographers and stop motion specialists.


We asked Shani to fill us in on some of the latest projects they’ve been asked to manage.


Wavescape Surf Film Festival and Art Board Auction


For 6 months of 2012 Shani got to coordinate the annual Wavescape Surf Film Festival in Cape Town. Along with the festival last year was the Wavescape Art Board Auction, an exhibition and auction of surfboards hand painted by local artists curated by SJ Artists.


In August, Shani took 5 boards to New York to be auctioned at the Hoops 4 Hope Summer Benefit in the Hamptons. The boards by Studio MutiBarnacles CreativeWesley van EedenGerhard Human and Cassandra Leigh & Jade Klara working together, raised R100 000 for charity.


In December, round 2 was a local auction of 10 more boards by Guy TillimPeter van StraatenKim Longhurst & Scott RobertsonWim BothaOne Love Studio Isiqalo Board , Fuzzy SlipperzBrett MurrayManuela GraySimon Berndt and Roger Ballen. This time R245 000 was raised.


The festival then moved onto Clifton beach for the outdoor surf film screening where 3000 people attended.


New to the festival last year was Slide Night, an evening of 10 talks by local ocean-related speakers: Damon Foster (Documentary filmmaker), Hanli Prinsloo (11 times South African Freediving Record Holder, filmmaker and avid Ocean Adventurer) and Conn Bertish (creative director and surfer).


SJ Artists will also be working on the 2013 festival.




Art Board Auction in New York.

Art Board Auction in New York.


Art board auction in Cape Town. Photos by Jonx Pillemer:



Simon Berndt, Peter van Straaten, Manuela Gray, Brett Murray, Wim Botha.


Guy Tillim, One Love & Isiqalo, Kim Longhurst, Roger Ballen, Mr Fuzzy Slipperz


Wavescape Surf Film Festival:


Wavescape001 Wavescape002


Chappies Edible Street Art


Early this year SJ Artists helped Ogilvy Cape Town to build 6 pieces of edible street art out of Chappies bubblegum. The murals went up in various locations in Cape Town and Joburg. The largest of the six murals took 17 681 pieces of Chappies to create, about 15 hours to complete – and less than 15 minutes to be eaten by eager fans.


Shani says, “Ogilvy Cape Town approached us to facilitate the execution of a fun idea they had for Chappies bubble gum. The idea was to take 6 selected “Did You Knows” that South Africans had submitted as part of a competition and create images out of them. Chappies were then used to create mosaic style large-scale murals around Cape Town and JHB. We managed the entire project from sourcing illustrators, scouting walls, acquiring permits, putting together the team and documentation of the project.”


Read more about the campaign here.



Design by Emma Cook


Design by Danielle Clough


Design by Jamie Mietz


Future Crew – Virgin Active


Last year SJ Artists was approached by Virgin Active to host mural workshops, create murals and provide a look and feel for their new Future Crew Project.


With a pilot project in place at the Lavender Hill Senior Secondary School, Future Crew aims to promote a healthy, balanced lifestyle through the establishment of school gyms while developing life skills and discipline through mentorship and coaching. By engaging learners in sport and sharing knowledge, Future Crew will also help create employment opportunities by identifying, harnessing and tapping into raw talent.


Shani says, “We got Mak1one and the One Love Studio on board to create the identity. The One Love Studio did workshops with 25 youths from Lavender Hill Senior Secondary School to come up with a community-influenced design. Those that partook in the workshop also got involved with the final painting of the mural. It’s a great initiative and we will be working with another 4 schools this year, all as part of the Virgin Active Future Crew Project.”






See more of their completed projects here, and their artists here.




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