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Demystifying the art world: an art workshop with Art School Africa and Everard Read Gallery

What an amazing workshop! Everard read Cape Town gallery and Art school Africa organised and facilitated a fascinating dialogue and perspective into the art world specifically navigating being an artist in Cape Town tonight.

Director Emma Vandermerwe of Everard Read and artists: Mark Rautenbach and Githan Coopoo held the panel and explored a large array of topics.

The panel: artist Githan Coopoo, director Emma Vandermerwe and artist Mark Rautenbach in conversation
The panel: artist Githan Coopoo, director Emma Vandermerwe and artist Mark Rautenbach in conversation

They discussed the artists’ lived experiences and the gallerist perspective on the courtship of cultivating working relationships with galleries. Going on to explore the degrees of gallery representation and what the expectations and professional conduct is on both sides.

One of the most interesting parts of the workshop for me was the pricing of artworks. The discussion illuminated how important navigating your price point is and that slow stable growth is key in building a consistent presence.

The audience during the question section of the night

What ran true through out the conversation was the importance of contextualising your work and creating your own artistic language and that having a strong presence like online platforms like websites, social media and newsletters are key to building a collector base and that the industry of fine art is one that cultivates relationships across years and a life time. Networking and carving out your own space are key in the hard journey of building an art career.

The night closed on the key note of self care and trusting your instincts. It can be so easy to lose a part of yourself in this process as you juggle multiple roles and create art in a professional and critical space.

Art School Africa’s introduction into the workshops

Workshops like tonight’s and the resources Art School Africa is creating and with sites like VANSA and the Ava gallery and the A4 Arts Foundation, both based in Cape Town, reflect supportive spaces in South Africa for creatives and how strong the community is.

The next workshop is on the 18th of April and the launch of this series is a welcome celebration of the community in the Cape Town art world.


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