Pretoria U.S. Embassy – On June 5, 2014, U.S. Ambassador Patrick Gaspard welcomed a delegation of American and South African artists to Cape Town to engage with local communities through the medium of art. The trip was sponsored by the State Department’s Art in Embassies program in order to bring the arts alive for local residents and to provide an example of how artistic expression can create international dialogue and transform lives.
The members of the delegation included American curator and art scholar Dr. Deborah Willis, American artists Sanford Biggers and Robert Pruitt, South African artists Mary Sibande and Nic holas Hlobo, and the Director of the Art in Embassies Program Ellen Susman. The group started their day by visiting the township art galleries (TAG) of Langa established by the Maboneng Township Arts Experience and Art Townships International.
They then partnered with local students and home owners to create stenciled murals on the walls of the homes. Maboneng means “place of light” and the Langa TAG project aims to bring hope and light into places historically deprived of both by transforming township homes into galleries, empowering residents to become curators and entrepreneurs, and engendering art appreciation in the community. Dr. Willis also gave a talk to local photographers about the importance of documenting their surroundings. The group then traveled to Cape Town’s AVA Gallery that evening for a panel discussion about their work and the issues of identity, race and history in contemporary art. The gallery event was sponsored by SASOL.
The previous is an excerpt from an article published by U.S Embassy Pretoria.
For the full article visit: https://za.usembassy.gov/the-art-in-embassies-program-brings-south-african-and-u-s-artists-together/