New MD for art studio

2019-07-02 06:01
Artist Kimathi Mafofo works on her latest art piece at the studios.

Artist Kimathi Mafofo works on her latest art piece at the studios.

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Local art studio, Greatmore Art Studios in Woodstock has hired a new managing director (MD).

Nikita van der Berg (32) says she looks forward to working with artists and staff at the studios. Her duties include strategic planning and financial management, and stakeholder relations among other things.

She considers the best vocation for the studios is to offer spaces for the artists.

Van der Berg says she was asked to hold both serious work and a sense of wonder in the same hand. “I have been tasked to promote young emerging and mid-career artists and upholding the Greatmore legacy. I am therefore committed to my continued mandate at Greatmore Studios to develop and promote emerging and mid-career artists and their careers in innovative and sustainable ways,” she says.

She looks forward to growing their careers but has no plans to change the running of the studios yet because it has not been long since she started working there. “I have only been here for two months and I do not think it would be wise to start making changes now because I am still getting to know the organisation,” van der Berg says.

Artists go through an application process and that is when the organisation chooses artists who would get accommodated at the studios. “Artists are accommodated for about three months to work on their art pieces. We also have resident artists who are accommodated for just over a year.”

Project coordinator and artist liaison at the studios Nonzaliseko Hodini say artists have complete freedom with their work and management does not interfere in how they work. “Our job is just to offer the space for the artists, we do not try to influence the art that they create,” Hodini says.

Although there is a fee that artists have to pay, van der Berg says that their stay at the studios is highly subsidised.“A lot of our costs are covered by the money we get from the National Lotteries Commission and our donors,” she said.

Resident artists, Kimathi Mafofo was introduced to Greatmore as a child when she used to accompany her artist father who was also a resident at the studios. She later acquired residency a painter. “I started experimenting with thread, and now, I paint using thread. It has been fantastic because the support among artists has been phenomenal,” Mafofo says.


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