SANAVA promotes visual arts, develops visual artists and furthers international cooperation in the field of the visual arts Newsletter Nº
May 2016
Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, venue for the 2016 SANAVA annual general meeting.
Dirkie's Dialogue

All set for SANAVA's 2016 Annual General Meeting

The Rust-en-Vrede gallery, scene for the 2016 SANAVA Annual General Meeting, is leaving no stone unturned for the meeting on 18 June.

Curator Hamlin Jansen van Vuuren and her team are pulling all stops to make this a memorable event. Rust-en-Vrede nestles in the Cape winelands and the Annual General Meeting at 10 Wellington Road, Durbanville in a national monument with a fascinating history, promises to be something else. Looking forward to seeing you there!

This year is executive committee member election. For the first time in the history of SANAVA this was done online - and we will announce the outcome of the election at the meeting.

To answer a question from a couple of new members - the membership of SANAVA comprises autonomous branches and affiliated organisations like art galleries, museums, educational institutions and corporate bodies. SANAVA is registered as a non-profit organisation with the Department of Social Development and as a public benefit organisation with the South African Revenue Service. It is a member of the International Association of Art, a non-governmental organisation of UNESCO.

SANAVA's quest to promote the visual arts manifests in the administration of three fully equipped artists' studios in the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France. These were acquired in the early 1990s in terms of an occupational rights agreement, valid till 2060. SANAVA is also a partner with Barclays in presenting the annual Barclays L'Atelier Art Competition.

SANAVA and the Visual Arts Network, VANSA, are discussing how to work together in future. We will share information on each other's websites and we will keep you informed of any developments.

You can sell your 1970 copy of Art and Artists of South Africa by Esmé Berman in Junk Mail for R3 000 but only if you have the revised 1983 revised edition or the reprint published as a tribute on her 80th birthday in 2009. I want to bet that all our readers must have copies of her books on their shelves. Read more about her in this edition of SANAVA Matters.

I wish to thank the members of the SANAVA executive committee, the secretariat and all our branches and affiliates for their warm support and kind collaboration these past years. The new executive members will be announced at the Annual General Meeting. For the sake of continuity, the outgoing national president remains a deputy president so I will still be around to support the team.

Kind regards
Dirkie Offringa
National President
Doctor Esmé Berman honoured by Wits

For Esmé Berman, the renowned South African art historian, 30 March 2016 was "the climactic moment" of her long career. It was on that day that Johannesburg's University of the Witwatersrand presented her with a Doctor of Literature degree (honoris causa) in recognition of her contribution to South Africa.

Esmé Berman, now suffering from Parkinson's disease, is the only surviving member of the revolutionary Wits Group, including the great artists Cecil Skotnes, Christo Coetzee and Larry Scully. She is a celebrated art historian with 60 years' professional experience as writer, lecturer, broadcaster, art consultant and exhibition jurist.

She has written numerous art historical books, most notably, in 1970, Art and Artists of South Africa, a pictorial dictionary which has become a professed Bible for academics in the art field.

Then followed The Story of South African Painting and Painting in South Africa. October 2009 saw the release of a dual volume monograph on Alexis Preller, with Professor Karel Nel. In 2010 Africa, the Sun and Shadows, Berman's in-depth biography of artist Preller, was released. There were five monographs to follow.
"Creative industries provide unprecedented opportunities for young people"   Mthethwa.
New arts fund to finance newcomers

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa says his department will establish a new fund that will help new entrants or debutants in the sector to finance their first projects.

The Debut Fund will be formed through the Mzanzi Golden Economy, which was launched in 2011 to ensure economic growth and prosperity in the arts, culture and heritage sector.

"Through the Mzanzi Golden Economy's open call process we will establish a debut fund that creates opportunities for young artists to publish their first book, produce their first play, cut their first album or host their first exhibition.

"The fund will make quarterly awards to a maximum value of R300 000, providing opportunities to develop new local content and for that all important 'break' in their career," says Mthethwa.

He says the creative industries provide unprecedented opportunities for young people.

"The 2013 creative industries mapping study found that over 30 percent of enterprises operating in the sector are youth owned. Linked to the funding will be a mentorship programme to make sure that these aspirant professionals have the best possible advice and guidance.

"In this financial year we will expand incubators for artists to four new provinces."

In the previous year seven creative industries incubators were established in the Free State, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.

Currently, there are over 400 young people engaged in these pilot programmes, developing entrepreneurial skills and creating new productions in the fields of performing arts and photography.

"The scope of the programme will be further extended through an open call for additional incubators in the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, North West and Limpopo," he says.
Quotes from the Minister of Arts and Culture

Last year we committed ourselves into exploring tax incentives for the arts. This year, in collaboration with Business and Arts South Africa, a detailed proposal for the inclusion of the arts into Section 18A of the South African Income Tax Act has been developed. An opportunity to present the documentation to the Davis Tax Commission is currently awaited.

The implementation of the Art Bank is underway with the appointment of a project manager from April 2016. The call for submissions to the Art Bank will be initiated in the second quarter of 2016 and a major exhibition of these works will be implemented in the second half of the year.

Venture Capital Fund is an important source of financing for start-up and other companies that have a limited operating history and don't have access to capital markets. The fund will lead in the development of sustainable SMMEs within the arts, culture and heritage sector by providing finance.

As we ensure that communities become places for engagement and where arts and culture can flourish, there are 250 community art centres throughout the country. These need to be supported through encouraging arts activities in these centres. In 2015, 100 community arts programmes have been implemented, and the refurbishment of a number of centres has begun. New resources have been made available for further infrastructure development and programming with the aim of supporting 150 community arts programmes across the country.

See the Past and the Present: Collaboration of South African and Nigerian Icons at the Pretoria Art Museum

This exhibition by Taiwo Ohu of South African and Nigerian icons consists of over twenty paintings. It sees the use of fragments of different materials such as metal, wood, velvet, leather, rope and weaves, intricately fused with oil and acrylic paints to achieve an impasto that creates a three-dimensional effect on a two-dimensional surface.

The work consists of realistic and impressionistic portrait paintings of some of the democratic leaders of Nigeria and South Africa. Close interaction will enable them to reach a cultural and ideological understanding of their unique cultures and customs so as to cooperate to the benefit of their citizens.

The exhibition is on until 3 July at the Henry Preiss Hall, Pretoria Art Museum, Corner of Francis Baard and Wessels Streets, Arcadia, Pretoria.

Enquiries: Gerda Guldemond, 012 358 6749,
New magazine for Ceramics Southern Africa

Ceramics Southern Africa has launched a brand new magazine under the editorship of Lydia Holmes. This quarterly publication, with the first four issues already published, was exceptionally well received both locally and abroad. Writers include industry leaders like Ronnie Watt, Wilma Cruise, Ann Marias, Gregory Kerr and Kim Bagley.

The magazine covers all aspects of ceramics in its artisanal, collectable and fine art form in South Africa and surrounds, with a measure of international ceramic matters.

Articles regarding any aspect of ceramics in Africa are most welcome.

Advertising specifications and costs are available on request. Subscriptions are available from at R200 per year.
Calls open for Emerging Voices awards

The second annual Financial Times/Oppenheimer funds, the Emerging Voices Awards, a global initiative recognising artistic talent in emerging-market nations, is open for nominations.

The winners in three categories – art, fiction and film – will be announced in September. Each winner will receive a $40 000 award, and two runners-up per category will receive $5 000.

For 2016, the categories are being moved to new regions, with fiction entries coming from Asia-Pacific, film from Latin America and the Caribbean, and art from Africa and the Middle East.

"We know that Africa and the Middle East have a venerable artistic tradition. These awards are our attempt to learn about, find and reward the best emerging artists and bring them to the attention of a wider audience," said Michael Skapinker, FT associate editor and chair of the judges.

Last year, Chigozie Obioma of Nigeria won the Emerging Voices fiction award for "The Fishermen", with runners-up hailing from Kenya and Rwanda.

162 applications were received from 28 countries across Africa and the Middle East. Exceptional artists from the region who are residents or passport holders of emerging-market nations are now invited to submit entries for the Emerging Voices Awards in the Art category.

The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges who are influential in art, including FT arts editor, Jan Dalley. The judges aim to recognise the artist whose work shows outstanding talent and in some way furthers understanding of his or her region. Last year's judges from Africa and the Middle East included Nadifa Mohamed, Kwame Anthony Appiah and Alaa Al Aswany.

Submissions are now open. The longlist for each category will be announced in June 2016. Shortlisted entrants will be announced in August 2016. All shortlisted participants will be flown to New York for an awards gala on 26 September at the New York Public Library where the category winners will be announced.

"Last year, we set out to find the best artists in Latin America and the Caribbean, the best film-makers in Asia-Pacific and the best fiction writers in Africa and the Middle East. The response was overwhelming. We received 872 entries overall and the standard was exceptionally high. We are hoping for an even bigger response this year," said Skapinker.

"The quality of the submissions we received during our first Emerging Voices Awards programme was extraordinary," said Justin Leverenz, Director of Emerging Market Equities at Oppenheimer Funds and Founder of the Emerging Voices Awards.

"I am honoured to continue this programme to help provide a global stage to feature the visionary talent, creativity and originality of artists from emerging-market nations."

For more information visit Join the conversation at #EmergingVoices.
Artists in residency programme in Armenia

The call for the artists in residence programme in Armenia is open.

International artists with enthusiasm for realising their creative projects in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, may apply.

Located in the area of Aygestan in Yerevan and only a short distance from the city's flourishing cultural centre, the residence is surrounded by university campuses and parks. Each resident is provided with a room and production and research space during the residency. It is furnished and equipped with wi-fi.

The building also houses a reading room, classrooms and a kitchen.

The duration of the residency ranges from a week to eight months, but can be discussed.

The accommodation is a private furnished room and shared kitchen or a shared studio/room with shared kitchenette.

Applicants are responsible for covering the residency fee that includes the studio rent, utilities and administrative support. The organisers will provide letters for successful residents and support their applications for external grants to cover the fee, travel, food, production and other costs. They will also provide a logistic fee for an exhibition.

For more information and to forward a project proposal write to, or phone +374 994 33301 or visit
We would like to hear from you

Please forward information of your branch [and low-res pictures] to the SANAVA secretariat for inclusion in the newsletter.
SANAVA secretariat
Junxion Communications, e-mail, tel +27 82 551 4853, fax +27 86 615 4876