55th Art in the Park launched

2017-03-15 06:03
PHOTO: nokuthula khanyileAt the launch of the 55th Art in the Park (back) Lwazi Nsele (left, Msunduzi Pietermaritzburg Tourism Association chairperson), Kevin Palium (CEO of Creative Arts College), and (front, from left) Dumisani Mhlongo (Msunduzi Pietermaritzburg Tourism Association director), Siphuxolo Ngqasa (KZN Botanical Gardens marketing and communication officer), Dr Raja Govender (Director, Arts and Culture KZN) and Zama Nxasana (Msunduzi Pietermaritzburg Tourism Association events co-ordinator).

PHOTO: nokuthula khanyileAt the launch of the 55th Art in the Park (back) Lwazi Nsele (left, Msunduzi Pietermaritzburg Tourism Association chairperson), Kevin Palium (CEO of Creative Arts College), and (front, from left) Dumisani Mhlongo (Msunduzi Pietermaritzburg Tourism Association director), Siphuxolo Ngqasa (KZN Botanical Gardens marketing and communication officer), Dr Raja Govender (Director, Arts and Culture KZN) and Zama Nxasana (Msunduzi Pietermaritzburg Tourism Association events co-ordinator).

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THE 55th Art in the Park will be a platform that encourages people to co-operate with each other using art as the unifying tool.

This was announced at the official launch of this year’s exhibition set to take place from May 3 to 7 at the KwaZulu-Natal Botanical Gardens.

Speaking at the launch, director of Msunduzi Pietermaritzburg Tourism Association (MPTA), Dumisani Mhlongo said this year’s show will carry “social cohesion through art” as the main theme.

“Art has become a tool to overcome barriers among a diverse range of people. It has the ability to inspire and relate across all races, ethnic groups and cultures.”

Mhlongo said one of the issues that were still facing the exhibition was mitigation of participating demographics in the Art in the Park.

“Our study has showed that 52% respondents were above 60 and 81% of the respondents were white, while only 11% were black. This indicates we need to do more to attract youth and people of colour to the event.”

This year the exhibition roped in Creative Arts College as the main sponsor. CEO of Creative Arts College Kevin Palium said they intend on making the event more exciting.

“The central element remains art exhibition and trade. The artists have been pushing themselves to the next level with high quality and innovative works that have the capacity to attract international attention. The supporting events enhances the Art in the Park experience as we intend on immersing patrons into the world of art.”

Palium said to bring substance to the event they will host introductory classes to the public at a designated area in the garden, free of charge.

He said they chose to sponsor the event because it is in line with their mandate of development through art.

KZN Botanical Gardens marketing and communication officer Siphuxolo Ngqasa said they were delighted to be hosting the exhibition again.

“We are excited to be part of the 55th anniversary celebrations of Art in the Park and wish artists many more years of producing fine art. We promise nothing but the best hospitality for this year’s exhibition.”

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