An avenue for great art

2010-05-25 00:00

FIFTY-FIVE artists, including the top 20 sellers from 2009, have been chosen to show their work at this year’s Nashua Art in the Park at Alexandra Park from June 2 to 6.

Speaking at the launch, Pietermaritzburg Tourism director Melanie Veness said she is confident that this year’s event, which is again ­being staged under the London plane trees on the banks of the Msunduzi River, will be a huge commercial success for the artists.

“Nashua Art in the Park has matured into one of the country’s premier selling exhibitions, and we’re confident that the sales realised this year will be a very good reflection of the art on show,” she added. “We turned away more than 70 artists this year, so the quality is high. I’m confident we will be able to surpass the record of R2,3 million we set in 2008.”

Among the artists taking part this year are Ixopo-based painter Mat Louwrens, who is exhibiting his unique paintings done in sand for the 31st year, and Lorna Panzenbock, who has been showing her work at Art in the Park for 20 years.

Panzenbock, from Gillitts, is an associate of the Watercolour Society and works in watercolours, oils and pastels. Asked why she enjoys coming to Art in the Park, she said: “For me it’s a good outlet ... and I like the atmosphere. Every year I say it’s my last year and everyone says don’t you dare.”

Another returning artist is Ezequiel Mabote, a Mozambican-born printmaker, who is based in Durban. Following a successful exhibition at the Bronx Community College in New York in February, Mabote is looking forward to showing a range of colourful new woodcut prints at Art in the Park. “My work has a new expression, so I’m hoping that those who have seen my work before will see the change,” he said.

First-time exhibitor Audrey Rudnik, from Umdloti, is looking forward to showing visitors her unique pod people sculptures, which are made from palm leaves and seeds. She will be joined by another first timer, ­Sheila Nichol of Kloof, who will be showing her stunning mosaic creations. “I’m very nervous,” Nichol said, “it’s quite an experience to move from art to craft.”

Pietermaritzburg Tourism has also worked closely with the Department of Arts and Culture to showcase the work of developing artists. This year the artists who will be showing their work are Zimbabwean-born Malaki Ndlovu, whose art reflects his love of the outdoors, and Muheme Bisimwa, who was born in Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo and now lives in Durban.

Bisimwa, who began drawing at an early age and has been painting for more than 10 years in oils and acrylics, says his paintings are his way of expressing himself and his love of Africa to the world.

• Nashua Art in the Park runs from June 2 to 6. Showtimes are 10 am to 8 pm from Wednesday to Saturday and 9 am to 4 pm on the Sunday. Tickets are R10 (children under 12 free). Parking is in Kershaw Park, via Alan Paton Avenue. Please note that no pets except guide dogs will be allowed into the exhibition, but prior arrangement must be made with the organisers. Inquiries: 033 345 1348.

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