The Absa KKNK takes place annually in Oudshoorn. Over the past 20 years this festival has distinguished itself as an art festival that showcases the most exciting new work across the disciplines of theatre, music, visual art, street art and dance, encouraging local artist to create new work and providing a platform where they can showcase it. The best work is rewarded with the annual Kanna-awards, after which it travels to other festivals locally and internationally. Take a look at the festival website for programme details.
Why go: See the best new Afrikaans work first.— 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. Opening Times: Saturday 9 May from 10am – 5pm Sunday 10 May from 10am – 5pm Tickets: For sale online and at the door, children under 12 enter for free. See some of the sculpture from last year’s fair. 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. See our highlights from last year’s festival. 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. See The Turbine Art Fair 2014 in pictures. 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. Opening Times: Friday from 11am – 8pm Saturday from 10am – 7pm Sunday from 10am – 5pm Tickets: Friday: R50 Saturday and/or Sunday: R100 Three Day Pass: R200 See our highlights from last year’s FNB Joburg Art Fair and watch our 60 Artworks in 60 Seconds video. 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. — More South African Art.