Art steps up for Stellenbosch

Public art comes to the fore with a series of masks superimposed on famous South African artworks displayed around town. Please support this great initiative by Stellenbosch University in aid of students impacted by Covid- 19. 

Stellenbosch is becoming the scene of a uniquely South African art response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  And as a result of this initiative, bursary students in the “missing middle” category studying at Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, are set to benefit.

Masked Masterpieces

Aptly named Masked Masterpieces: masks will be superimposed on famous South African artworks, the originals are all in public spaces in an around Stellenbosch and displayed outdoors in supersized format providing a powerful visual reflection of the challenges of our time.

The artists’ stories are displayed on plaques alongside the artworks, as well as information about the artwork, where the original can be viewed and how to make a donation by way of a Snapscan code or bank transfer. These donations will be administered by SU and will assist in funding bursary students who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Irma Stern - The Initiate - mask 200mmH
Masked Masterpieces will not only help students in need, but will also showcase and promote South African masterpieces, while educating the public on the fascinating artists who have created these works.
Gerard Jan Sekoto - The Senegal Woman - mask 200mmH
The art installation, which is on display until December, is entirely funded by the private sector – Beck Family Philanthropy, Fuchs Foundation, Investec, Norval Foundation, Rupert Art Foundation and Strauss and Co.  

Ensuring sustainability

“At the start of the lockdown in South Africa, our Rector (Prof Wim de Villiers) made it clear that the University has two overriding priorities: to ensure that students can successfully complete their academic year, and to ensure the sustainability of our institution. This initiative, run by the Development and Alumni Relations Division (DAR) in collaboration with our partners in the private sector, is therefore in direct response to his statement,” says Pieter Swart, Director: Major Gifts and Transformational Giving at SU’s Development & Alumni Relations Division.

Maties who are set to benefit from this initiative will be selected from the “missing middle” category of students. “We are introducing innovative ways to ensure that none of our students is left behind in the wake of COVID-19. With the economic effects of this pandemic, we expect that even more of our students will move into the ‘missing middle’ category — unable to access state funding and yet incapable of affording  the costs of university studies because of the impact of COVID-19 on their household income,” he adds.

Zanele Muhole - Aphelile IV 200mmH
Trechikoff - Chinese Girl - mask 200mmH

Town, transformed

Sites where the artworks can be viewed include the gabled wall of the Distell building on the R44; the wall next to the GUS gallery in Dorp Street; the Dorpsteeg in Bird Street; the Stellenbosch Taxi Rank in Bird Street and the gabled wall on the corner of Drostdy and Plein Streets.

“Masked Masterpieces demonstrates in practice the innovative mindset that underpins a truly novel initiative that simultaneously manages to educate, to promote the arts and to raise funding for deserving students who are challenged by the impact of COVID-19,” says Dr Riaan Els, CEO of The Fuchs Foundation.

Ghetto Art Gallery: Coronavirus awareness project

“I’m hoping to do all the schools around Cape Wineland district, in collaboration with other artists. This project will help to prevent the virus in schools to start with & help to create jobs for artists.” – Bongo Flepu, Ghetto Art Gallery.

Very much in the vein of supporting our youth while raising awareness and community spirit, the Corona Virus Awareness Project by Ghetto Art Gallery, organised by local artist Bongo “Khwelo86” Flepu, is another fantastic initiative by the art-minded in Stellenbosch. The mural can be seen at iKaya primary school in Kayamandi.

Bongo’s long term plan is to collaborate with the taxi industry & local church organizations to extend the scope of this project. Bongo hopes to eventually have a mural at all permitted places of gathering to use art as a tool to create awareness & prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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