Cape Town - The City of Cape Town launched a new exhibit space that will provide a space for first-time artist exhibitions.
The timing of the launch coincides with the opening of the Zeits MOCAA, and this programme hopes to include artists from poorer backgrounds into the art narrative of Cape Town.
Mayor Patricia de Lille wants to expose young artists to art collectors that will be in town for the Zeits' opening and show them what we have on offer in this city.
The space, which is currently in the foyer of Artscape, is opened by six young artists, including 14-year-old Litha Mayiya, whose work focuses on his family life. His teacher Nompumelelo Rakabe is also exhibiting her work alongside his, who she's been mentoring through Project Playground in Gugulethu.
Other artists include Dizu Plaatjies' music instrument designs, paintings from Wonder Makosa and photographer Juliet Pillar, who merges her skills with tour guiding.
"I think there's such a lot of talent in our city, we only need to go out and find them, and give them the necessary push, to get out there and be themselves," says De Lille. "I felt it was important for us as the City of Cape Town to provide this space for emerging artists, otherwise this space here will just be empty."
She also reiterated the need to build an inclusive city so that everyone can have a sense of belonging and get a fair opportunity.
Artscape CEO Marlene le Roux explained the need for platforms for local artists. "You need to somehow have a platform and a portfolio and it needs to be framed properly, in order for somebody to buy your particular work. So this is an extremely important place, an important visionary act and important policy for our city, the Western Cape, South Africa and Africa."
She also announced that the Artscape plans to expand the space and turn it into a professional gallery that will adhere to international standards.
This is a pilot exhibit and will provide exhibit space and mentorship to 20 emerging local artists from previously disadvantaged areas, with possibility of a permanent space to display their art works. The programme will also be incorporated into First Thursdays from 3 October, where local emerging musicians will also have an opportunity to perform.
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