EC woman launches gallery for rural artists
AN ENTREPRENEUR aims to put artists in the picture when it comes to earning a living through
“There is a lot of talent. Most of the art in big galleries comes from rural artists. Look at Esther Mahlangu, her work goes all over the world. However, we are not concerned with developing them beyond crafters. There should be more art galleries in rural areas. Established galleries take 60 percent or even more from sales and very little goes to the artists themselves. We want to change that… All the trends in the arts come from Africa anyway but rural artists are excluded.”
She explained during the decade she lived in Mpumalanga, she met women at arts festivals or on government-funded overseas trips and noted that they had no direct access to art galleries.
It was this observation that inspired her to start the Thandeka Stamper Art Gallery – named after her grandmother and based in rural Dabhani – to help rural women and young artists.
“Most artists in rural areas have no support and no access to information about funding. Older women who paint have no access to galleries. We are creating an arts residency,” she said, explaining that some funding has been secured from the Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism.
“We want all the artists to have a stake so that we are able to create an outlet for them,” she said, adding that the venture will see a collaboration between learners, youth and artists.