The Cape’s creative summer of 2020
If there’s ever been any doubt that Cape Town is a hotspot for art and design, the summer of 2020 will put it to rest. In February the Mother City and environs are hosting major events that put the focus on creativity.
At any time of year, the Creative Academy’s home town is a delight for art and design fans. In addition to being the base for myriad creative agencies, Cape Town is home to the Zeitz MOCAA and the Norval Foundation, two museums dedicated to contemporary art. In our immediate neighbourhood, you’ll find many workshops and studios and a walk around is likely to turn up eye-catching street art.
But the summer of 2020 is turning the dial right up on creativity. February is Art Month in Cape Town and several events will be putting the spotlight on the latest thinking in the creative industries.
We look at where to find creative inspiration this season.
International Public Art Festival
12-16 February 2020
The appeal of the street art festival is the chance to see artworks taking shape over the course of several days.
The International Public Art Festival takes art from gallery walls to city walls as 25 local and international artists set out to create murals. The setting for the festival is the Creative Academy’s own neighbourhood. What’s more, second year student Michael Beckurts will be participating in the event.
“I see this as a fantastic opportunity to be exposed to a new art genre and meet exciting, creative people,” says Michael. “I have interacted with members of the community and will be honoured to make a small mark in the urban landscape.”
In fact, the aim of the festival is to use public art to express community values. The Salt River and Woodstock area fell into disrepair in the 1980s, but has experienced a creative rebirth since the opening of the Old Biscuit Mill in 2006. With their giant artworks, the NGO behind the festival, BAZ-ART, wants to rejuvenate the landscape further.
This year the International Public Art Festival has digitalisation as the theme. Expect to see topical murals that interrogate our relationship with technology. Michael’s mural, Get Off My Cloud, is going up on Fenton Road, Salt River. Stop by to see the work in progress and hear his take on the mural’s meaning.
Investec Cape Town Art Fair
14-16 February 2020
The art fair brings together artists from across South Africa, the continent and the world.
Even though the Investec Cape Town Art Fair takes place at the tip of the continent, it has its sights firmly set on all of Africa. Every year the contemporary art on display draws art lovers, collectors, gallerists, curators and artists from all over the globe.
The 2020 exhibit welcomes names like South African Athi-Patra Ruga, Egyptian calligraphist Fathi Hassan and Kenyan painter Onyis Martin. Artists from Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Togo, France, USA and Australia will also show works alongside local artists.
Held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, the Investec Cape Town Art Fair is not just a market place for art buyers. It is also a chance to explore the state of contemporary art through talks and guided walkabouts.
Further inspiration comes in the form of the ART.DOC film festival, on show at the Labia Cinema on 15 and 16 February. Award-winning artist Philip Aguirre y Otegui will be present for a Q&A after the screening of the film, Théâtre Source. The film documents how he joined forces with Cameroonian families to turn a water point into a sculpture. All screenings are free and seats are available on a first-come first-served basis.
26-28 February 2020
Design Indaba is a showcase of creative thinking and innovative solutions implemented in a range of industries.
The summer of 2020 marks the 25th birthday of this design conference. It’s a milestone well worth celebrating. Every year Design Indaba brings the world’s leading creatives to South Africa and this year the line-up includes Robert Wong, creative director of Google Creative Labs.
From its home at the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town, Design Indaba also runs a live simulcast for creatives and students elsewhere. In addition to the inspirational and energising lineup of speakers, the event includes exhibitions and workshops.
At the public showcase, emerging designers have the chance to display their talents. This event has helped kick-start the ascent of young designers such as Laduma Ngxokolo and Daniel Ting Chong. Come discover the next big name.
11 February – 20 April 2020
No need to go to Venice, the Stellenbosch Triennale is bringing a global festival experience to Cape Town’s doorstep.
If you feel like broadening your creative horizons, why not take a day trip to the Winelands? This year the student town of Stellenbosch will host the very first Stellenbosch Triennale, an art festival that will take place every three years.
The ambition is to bring the finest contemporary art from Africa to the Cape and thereby build bridges across borders. “African creatives confront us with what is possible for a renewal to happen, utilising art as a lens,” says chief curator Khanyisile Mbongwa.
Twenty artists feature in the Curators’ Exhibition, which has the theme “Tomorrow There Will Be More Of Us” while a further 10 up-and-coming artists exhibit in On The Cusp. Since entrance is free, there’s no reason not to visit and expand your creative horizons.
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