Art competition to inspire youth

2018-02-14 06:01
Antonio Leeuwskieter at the Cultural Freedom Art Gallery in the Cleary Park shopping centre.                 Photo: ZELDRÉ STRAUSS SWANEPOEL

Antonio Leeuwskieter at the Cultural Freedom Art Gallery in the Cleary Park shopping centre. Photo: ZELDRÉ STRAUSS SWANEPOEL

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GROWING up in areas known for gang violence should never let the youth believe that the same fate of gangsterism awaits them.

Local artists are running an art competition for schools in the northern areas to not only uncover hidden talent but to inspire children to rise above their circumstances.

The competition, called “I am not a gangster”, is facilitated by the Cultural Freedom Art Gallery which is situated in the Cleary Park Shopping Centre.

This gallery opened its doors in August last year and is open from 10am to 4pm every day, and also offers art classes every Saturday.

The gallery is run by artists Antonio Leeuwskieter and Wellington Phepheng and currently showcases their work as well as the work of Malvery Stanley – each artist bringing their own unique style to the table.

“Our aim at the Cultural Freedom Gallery is to give artists in the northern areas an opportunity to be exposed, especially those who are not able to exhibit their work at the main galleries in the city,” said Leeuwskieter.

He said that the idea of the art competition came after years of observing children in gang-infested suburbs who do not have positive role models and eventually fall prey to social ills.

“We want to show these kids that they can achieve anything if they put their minds to it. They don’t have to rob and steal and end up in jail. We want to change their mindset through the medium of art.”

The competition is open to all primary and high school learners of schools in the northern suburbs.

“We have approached several schools and the reception has been amazing. Everyone is very excited about the competition and we hope to make it an annual event. We also hope to secure some sponsors because currently we have none.”

The brief is to draw anything to the theme of “I am not a gangster” and entrants will not be judged on their technical abilities. All the entries will be showcased at a cocktail event and an independent judging panel will choose the winning concept.

The winner’s artwork will be exhibited for a week at the Cultural Freedom Gallery and the gallery will donate a painting to the winner’s school. The competition closes on March 2.

For info contact Leeuwskieter on 081 721 1107 or


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