Maritzburg Sun (South Africa)

A new vision for

- Estelle Sinkins

The loosening of Covid-19’s grip was the signal for artist Kathy Jacob to finally realise her dream to showcase some of the country’s finest artists to an appreciati­ve audience.

She revealed her plans at last week’s launch of the first-ever Art in the Country exhibition, which will run from May 27 to 29 at Harrington House in Hilton.

The event was attended by artists taking part in the exhibition, as well as representa­tives of business, local government and tourism. Among them were Melanie Veness, CEO of the Pietermari­tzburg and Midlands Chamber of Business, JP Pretorius, head of uMngeni Tourism, and uMngeni Deputy

Mayor Sandile Mnikathi.

Speaking at the launch, Jacob said: “I wanted Art in the Country to resuscitat­e the proud artistic legacy of Pietermari­tzburg and the Midlands. Jen Ortlepp’s offer for Harrington House as the venue bowled me over, it’s perfect!”

Forty artists, both from the Midlands and the Western Cape, Limpopo, East London and Malawi will be showcasing their work in a huge white marquee – a nod to Hilton’s unpredicta­ble weather – in a picture perfect setting.

The line-up of exhibitors includes Simon Addy and

Lyn Hoyle of the Addy Hoyle Gallery in Clarens, Bob Mkenzie, David Johnson, Giulia Forman, Nicola Firth, Jodie

and Ryan Loubser, Muzi Ndlela and David Weildon.

“I’m very excited to have Tim Baines and his amazing sculptures on board, while our very own Pro Mkhize, from Sweetwater­s, will show his intricate sketch work,” Jacob said.

Harrington House will also be setting up two more tents, one of which will house food prepared by students at Jackie Cameron’s School of Food and Wine.

“We’re so excited to have our own celebrity chef in Jackie Cameron on board, who has promised a delicious street food menu,” Jacob said. The second tent will be a drinks area, selling both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Dotted around the area will be mobile coffee stations. Space is also being set aside for a picnic area and trestle tables for people to eat.

Art in the Country is being supported by Harcourts Hilton, with Jacob saying the event could not have been brought to light without their help.

“Andrew Line, being an artist himself, and Brian

Wilkes were wonderfull­y supportive from day one,” she added. Other sponsors include Pick n Pay at The Avenues shopping centre in Hilton, Landrover Pietermari­tzburg and Nedbank.

“Our sponsors make it possible to present a premier exhibition with top class artists in superlativ­e surroundin­gs, it’s

so humbling,” Jacob said.

As a profession­al artist of more than 20 years, and a top 10 earner at Art in the Park, Jacob has plugged into a pentup demand for a well-run event to draw in buyers and the public.

“The key to a successful selling exhibit is very simple; it needs the support from respected artists who produce sought-after work,” she said.

Art in the Country will be open from 10am to 8pm on Friday, May 27, and Saturday, May 28, and from 9am to 2pm on Sunday, May 29. Entry is R20 per person that includes a guide to the artists on show. Pensioners qualify for a 50% discount and entry is free for children under 18.

 ?? ?? Pictured at the launch of Art in the Country are some of the artists, sponsors and guests.
Pictured at the launch of Art in the Country are some of the artists, sponsors and guests.

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