My recent visit to the newly refurbished and refreshing Thapong Visual Arts Centre did not disappoint.
On display was an array of equally stimulating and inspiring artworks by local artists of different backgrounds.
The two-week long art exhibition themed ‘Thapong Members Exhibition’ opened its doors to members of the media and the public last Friday, July 3 at the Centre.
The exhibition showcases a myriad of varying art categories from paintings, sketches, illustrations, sculptures, and crafts to photography.
Opening the event, the Centre’s Coordinator Reginald Bakwena said, “This exhibition’s main objective is to promote and highlight the works of artists affiliated to the Thapong gallery. The exhibition is also a platform within which you can also show your creative works in preparation for the upcoming Thapong Artist of the Year Award (TAYA). Though there is no adjudication at this exhibition, artists have to uphold or better the standards just as they would do in other competitions like TAYA. Tonight’s exhibition offers you the opportunity to critique and learn through interaction with fellow amateur and professional artists in the industry.”
In conclusion, Bakwena observed that indeed the quality of artworks submitted at this year’s members’s exhibition has improved considerably.
His concern, however, was that most of the artists’s submissions would end up being disqualified at competition level as a result of technical blunders such as wrong labelling, not that they are of poor quality. He gave an example of one artist’s work that had been submitted for Photography category and was improperly labelled as Camera. “Therefore, this stage is intended to address such issues ahead of greater and advanced events like the TAYA,” Bakwena said.
In her closing remarks, Lolo Mmadikgetla, a board member of Thapong stated, “It’s our wish to see our artists showcasing their talent at both local and international stages. Not only should you be displaying your creative works, you should also be able to let it communicate for itself, hence selling itself further.”
Amongst the selected works of this year’s collection that undoubtedly caught the eye of many of the art enthusiasts and critiques attending the exhibition, including yours truly, were:
1). Mowana trees - Photography category by Karin Duthie
2). Melody vs Big Fred - Oil on Canvas category by Matthew Bion
3). National Coat of Arms – Slate Stone category by Kealeboga Ramogotsi
4). Kubu – Mixed Media category by Tsholofelo Dintwe
5). Elephant – Mixed Media category by Tsholofelo Dintwe
6). African Corset – Mixed Media category by Ivy Radipodi Mosimanyana.
Next week, we interview the creative minds behind the above-mentioned selected works to establish the art rationale and inspiration behind their works. The exhibition runs until the July 21. The gallery is open to the public from 8am to 5pm on Monday to Friday and 9am to 4pm on some Saturdays and Sundays.