As a few of South Africa’s prominent creative festivals are just around the corner, we thought it would be a good time to roundup the local art and design fairs you have to look forward to in 2015. Each year more festivals arrive on the scene and other annual expos become more established, which leaves us with a wealth of opportunity to support and appreciate South African creative initiatives and local talent.
GRID Cape Town Biennial: 14th February – 15th March | Cape Town
GRID is a biennial photography festival which originated in the Netherlands and takes place internationally in several different creative cities. GRID Cape Town’s main exhibition is set to take place at the Castle of Good Hope with the theme being, Constructions: South Africa. The festival aims to incite a worldwide exchange of contemporary image culture. It looks to provide a platform for photographers to stimulate dialogue through visual communication both locally and globally. Visit their website to see the line-up of events and find them on Facebook to stay updated.
Why go: For an international look at the medium of photography.
Guild Design Fair: 25th February – 1st March | Cape Town
Guild Design Fair is an international design expo which is returning to Cape Town for its second addition at the V&A Waterfront (The Lookout). The designer line-up includes creatives from 17 different countries. The fair includes guided tours, talks by top designers and evening events with optional dinner and drinks before viewing the work. The Guild incites the coming together of curators, designers and institutions with the common goal of celebrating exceptional design. Visit their website for updates on the design talent you can look forward to.
Wednesday from 10am – 4pm
Thursday to Saturday from 10am – 8pm
Sunday from 10am – 6pm
Pensioners, students, children between 12 and 18: R50
Children under 12: Free
Why go: For premier local and international collectable design pieces and once-off collaborations.
Design Indaba: 25th February – 1st March | Cape Town
Design Indaba takes place annually at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and comprises two parts: the conference from the 25th – 27th February and the expo from the 28th February – 1st of March. The conference always features an exciting lineup of international and local creatives, industry leaders and innovative designers and thinkers. The expo is made up of the best South Africa’s creative sector has to offer, with an interesting mix of cleverly designed products and creative technology. A highlight at the Design Indaba expo is the Emerging Creatives programme, a showcase of forty up and coming South African designers and makers. Find more info and conference prices on their website.
Expo Opening Times:
Friday from 10am – 8pm
Saturday from 10am – 8pm
Sunday from 10am – 6pm
Online or at the door: R80
Pensioners and Students: R60
Children (10 to 18 years old): R50
Children under 10: Free
Why Go: Attend the Design Indaba conference or simulcast to hear from global leaders in innovative creativity and design thinking. Visit the expo to shop!
Cape Town Art Fair: 26th February – 1st March | Cape Town
Through a diverse offering of local art, Cape Town Art Fair aims to be representative of the richness, promise and investment of art from Africa. The 2015 fair will take place predominantly in two main venues: The Avenue and a marquee on the North Wharf next to Zeitz MOCAA (Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa). The public programme will include visits to multiple different creative sites around the city to promote public involvement in Cape Town’s broader artistic ecosystem. The CTAF will also include a festival of ‘moving image in art’ at three Nu-Metro cinemas. For more information, find the daily opening hours and gallery map on the CTAF website.
Why go: Cape Town’s snap-shot of the contemporary art market.
Dance Umbrella: 26th February – 15th March | Johannesburg
Dance Umbrella has a 27 year history of presenting new contemporary choreography and dance in Johannesburg. This multi-disciplinary festival features choreographers and companies from all over South Africa and presents work ranging from community-based/Youth groups, young up-and-coming choreographers, new commissioned work from South African artists to international companies. The 2015 festival programme will see a special focus on female choreographers, who have become an increasing presence in the previously male-dominated dance scene. Take a look at the festival website for more info and the full programme.
Why go: The contemporary dance platform that has launched several local choreographers’ careers onto the international stage.
THAT ART FAIR: 27th February – 1st March | Cape Town
THAT ART FAIR is a new ARTsouthAFRICA initiative, focussing on providing a platform for young, emerging African artists who work under the radar of the traditional art establishment and who do things a little differently. Hosted in Salt River in Cape Town, this affordable art fair hopes to transform the contemporary African art world, focussing on nurturing and investing in emerging talent. Keep an eye on their website as they reveal more info and the full programme.
1 Day Pass (Online purchases only): R50
1 Day Pass (At the door): R70
1 Day Student Pass (At the door only – student card required): R30
Full Weekend Pass (Online purchases only): R100
Full Weekend Pass (At the door): R120
Bulk ticket purchases, 14 x 1 day passes (online only): R500
Why go: See and buy artworks by the new wave of contemporary African artists.
Infecting the City: 9th March – 14th March | Cape Town
Infecting The City is an annual public arts festival that strives to bring exceptional, socially-engaged performance and visual art out of theatres and galleries and into the communal spaces of Cape Town’s Central Business District – transforming the city centre into an outdoor venue, where art is free and accessible to everyone. Keep an eye on their website as they reveal this year’s programme.
Why go: Art for all!
ABSA KKNK Fees: 3rd April – 11th April | Oudtshoorn
The Winter Sculpture Fair: 9th May – 10th May | Nirox Sculpture Park, Cradle of Humankind
The weekend of May 9th and 10th will once again see the Nirox Sculpture Park become the picturesque setting for the annual Winter Sculpture Fair. For two days the lush park, which was once a commercial trout farm, is transformed into an outdoor contemporary art haven with elaborate sculptures exhibited in both indoor and outdoor settings. The Winter Sculpture Fair, which is spearheaded by Artlogic, provides an alternative experience for Joburg art enthusiasts in arguably one of Gauteng’s most beautiful spaces. For more info on the artists and culinary collaborators visit their website.
Saturday 9 May from 10am – 5pm
Sunday 10 May from 10am – 5pm
For sale online and at the door, children under 12 enter for free.
Why go: South Africa’s first sculpture fair, set in a gorgeous outdoor setting.
National Arts Festival: 2nd July – 12th July | Grahamstown
The National Arts Festival celebrated its 40th birthday last year and occupies a prominent slot in the annual arts calendar as a vibrant celebration of South African art and creativity. It is a multi-sited, multidisciplinary showcase of creative talent that livens up the small university town of Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape for two weeks every June/ July. The programme includes drama, dance, physical theatre, comedy, a rich musical line-up which includes a range of genres, visual art exhibitions, film, student theatre, street theatre, lectures, a craft fair, workshops, tours (of the city and surrounding historic places) and a children’s arts festival. The performances and exhibitions take place throughout Grahamstown in an assortment of different, interesting venues. The schedule is usually up well in advance; visit the comprehensive website for more info on where to stay, what to expect and what not to miss.
Why go: South Africa’s largest and oldest arts festival, as well as the annual premier of the Standard Bank Young Artists’ work.
Cape Town Fringe: 24th September – 4th October | Cape Town
The Cape Town Fringe festival is an off-shoot of the National Arts Festivals and brings a portion of Amazing theatre and performance to various sites across the city. The festival is based on the international Fringe concept, and focuses on small, mostly independent productions and performances that take place in (often) unusual venues. The Cape Town Fringe includes performances by both emerging and established artists in a wide range of genres. Check the festival website closer to the dates for more info.
Why go: Fresh, independent performances all over the city.
Turbine Art Fair: 16th of July – 19th of July | Johannesburg
The 3rd Turbine Art Fair will once again takes place in the Turbine Hall in Newtown, Johannesburg. The fair promotes both emerging and established artists in an accessible environment that aims to foster a new art audience and collector base. The fair will be open to the public from Friday 17th – Sunday 19th with a free daily talks programme where industry experts and professionals share insights on art and the art of buying art. There is also a preview cocktail event on the evening of the 16th for a limited number of guests, tickets will be made available closer to the time. Visit their webite for more info.
Why go: To buy affordable art by emerging and established artists. All artworks priced below R30 000.
FNB Joburg Art Fair: 11th September – 13th September | Johannesburg
The FNB Joburg Art Fair is the premier international art fair on the continent with a focus on contemporary African art. Now in its 8th year, the fair will once again take place at the Sandton Convention Centre and continue its aim of establishing and supporting a thriving contemporary arts landscape in Africa. The FNB Joburg Art Fair is the annual convergence of leading artists, gallerists, collectors, writers, thinkers and art lovers. For more information and news on featured artists visit their website.
Friday from 11am – 8pm
Saturday from 10am – 7pm
Sunday from 10am – 5pm
Saturday and/or Sunday: R100
Three Day Pass: R200
Why go: To see a snap-shot of the (mainly) South African contemporary art market.
Arts Alive International Festival: August/ September | Johannesburg
Arts Alive is a multidisciplinary festival that is based in Johannesburg and takes place at various different locations around the city. The festival encompasses a multitude of different creative art forms; music, theatre, dance, visual arts and poetry. The festival aims to foster social cohesion by integrating all seven regions of Johannesburg and encouraging citizens from different areas around the city to appreciate local art together. Arts Alive attracts audiences with well known performers and artists while simultaneously exposing emerging creatives and new talent. This festival provides something for everyone and challenges the public to engage in art forms that they are not ordinarily familiar with. Find out more closer to the the festival’s 2015 instalment on their website.
Why go: Experience different art forms and cultures.
Clover Aardklop Nasionale Kunstefees: 6th October – 10th October | Potchefstroom
Held annually in the North-West town of Potchefstroom, the Aardklop national arts festival exhibits South African culture through theatre, dance and music performances as well as visual arts and local craft exhibitions and sales. Taking over various indoor and outdoor venues around the town, this four day festival is as much a celebration as it is a showcase. Check the festival website for more details.
Why go: For a mix of daring new shows and classic dramatic productions.