There’s an exciting month ahead for art lovers in Joburg with some great exhibitions on the calendar. Here’s a look at four major art events to mark in your diaries.
Open Studios Joburg
Sat May 28 and Sun May 29
This lively open artist studio weekend is back on Saturday May 28 and Sunday May 29, and is the biggest edition yet with seven artist studio collectives taking part, encompassing close to 100 artists. The event offers an opportunity to meet the artists, explore their studios and buy works directly.
Saturday’s programme sees open studio days at Bag Factory, Transwerke at Constitution Hill and Lapa Residency in Brixton, as well as a refreshment stop at Charlie & Gerald’s Town Treasure on Fox Street. On Sunday the attention turns east to August House, Ellis House, Living Artists Emporium and Victoria Yards. Entrance is free and there is a free shuttle service running between all the venues, but you must register on Quicket to attend. Find out more and register here.
Winter Sculpture Exhibition at Nirox Sculpture Park
Opening weekend Sat May 7 and Sun May 8
Nirox Sculpture Park has partnered with local universities and art institutions across South Africa and the southern African region to bring together this brand new sculpture exhibition featuring the work of more than 30 artists, titled Good Neighbours. The opening weekend includes a series of curator-led walkabouts and a collaborative sound performance.
Tickets for the opening weekend cost R350 and food and drinks are on sale from a collection of gourmet pop-up food stalls in the park (note you cannot bring your own food and drinks into the venue). The exhibition will then be on display throughout winter. Find out more and book a ticket here.
Thu May 5
First Thursdays makes a return to Joburg this May for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began. While the details of what activations are in store are still being finalised, some venues are already confirmed.
Foremost among the venues involved in the new-look First Thursdays is 44 Stanley. The boutique complex will be opening late with activations at art spaces including gallery gallery, Brunch illustration studio and Kudzanai Chiurai’s The Library of Things We Forgot To Remember. Over in Rosebank, look out for a new exhibition by Nicola Bailey launching from 18:00 at Everard Read.
Bodyland at UJ Art Gallery
May 7 – June 3
UJ Art Gallery presents Bodyland – A Site for Contemplation, a thrilling exhibition curated by Anelisa Mangcu that is the result of an artist residency in the Eastern Cape led by Athi-Patra Ruga. The exhibition features the work of eight young artists from the region who joined Ruga for a 14-day residency in the Tyhume Valley, followed by a one-year mentorship programme led by Ruga.
The artists were invited to engage with the topics of history and natural resources and the politics of the body and land. The resultant works form the Bodyland exhibition, an exciting showcase of the work of young artists from the Eastern Cape, that explores themes ranging from spirituality to sexuality, nature and the afterlife. The exhibition opens on Sat May 7 with a performance. RSVP here to attend the opening event.