In the quaint village of Riebeek Kasteel, nestled among rolling vineyards and picturesque landscapes, artists and art enthusiasts alike converge for a captivating fine arts weekend where creative expressions intertwine with culinary delights, fostering a vibrant tapestry of visual and gastronomic pleasures.
The eagerly anticipated ‘Solo Studios – Intimate Art Encounters’ returns to the Riebeek Valley in August with what promises to be another highlight on the cultural calendar.
CALLING THE EVENT ‘Intimate Art Encounters’ means exactly what it says. Seventeen artists’ studios will be open to the public over the weekend of 18–20 August, with seven of these artists having invited external collaborators to co-exhibit in their personal spaces. A further seven group exhibitions will be held at various galleries and venues, including two private art collections in exclusive guest houses. Spending time in the intimate spaces of the artists’ studios will offer pass-holders an insight into their processes and inspiration.
“We don’t merely sell art at Solo Studios. We sell an experience,” says Klaus Piprek, co-founder and director of Solo Studios. These experiences go much further than the visual arts. Apart from the art exhibitions, there is so much more to enjoy in what has become known as Arts Town Riebeek Valley, encompassing the twin towns of Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West. Prepare to be lured away from your planned art route by the aromas wafting from a coffee shop, by the scent of essential oils from the locally produced botanical range or by a tantalising wine tasting at some of the most acclaimed Swartland wine producers.
“As always, the Riebeek Valley will put on its best dress in anticipation of the influx of art aficionados to this prestigious event and visitors can expect a host of venues offering food experiences and wine tastings,” says Shawn Hewitt, project manager for this year’s event. “Entertainers will flow onto the streets and pavements and creative community development projects will be showcased in plentiful fringe activities. Add to that the richness of local flavour from the olive producers, the abundance of restaurants, the village bakery and the profusion of craft and artisanal outlets.”
“The best way to fully appreciate what we have to offer is to make a whole weekend of it,” Klaus advises. “There’s simply not enough time in one day to fully absorb all that Solo Studios and the valley have to offer.”
The record-breaking ‘Solo Studios – Intimate Art Encounters’ event of 2022, with 183 art pieces sold, valued at R2.5 million, resulted in stiff competition to participate in this prestigious event. For the 2023 edition, 17 local artists were selected from the large number of worthy applications.
A highlight of this year’s event is a charity fundraising concert by the Winelands Philharmonic Orchestra and featuring the Riebeek Kasteel Steelband. Expect original compositions to form part of this collaboration!
The scenic Riebeek Valley is less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town and other cultural centres such as Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek. Accommodation in the two small towns is limited and patrons are strongly encouraged to book tickets and accommodation well in advance. There is a variety of pass options, from a Day Pass at R150 to a Premier Weekend Pass at R395. Peripheral activities may incur a surcharge.
Artists (with collaborations)
Local artists were allowed to invite creative peers as collaborators for
- Tamlin Blake (with the Keiskamma Art Project)
- Solly Smook
- Riaan van Zyl
- Brett Shuman (with Linda Waterkeyn)
- André François van Vuuren
- Emma Willemse
- Ade Kipades (with Hennie Meyer)
- Andries Dirks
- Gordon Williams (with Paul Kristafor)
- Wiehan de Jager (with Clayton Sutherland)
- Kevan Moses (with Shui-Lyn White and Amy Moses)
- Lizette Visser (with Ros Koch)
- Louis Nel
- Misha Hillier
- Antoinette von Saurma
- Sharon Bischoff
- Dieter Wust
Galleries and exhibitions
- RK Contemporary
- QStudio in partnership with Impendulo NPO at the Riebeek Valley Museum
- Pictorex Photographic Gallery
- Gallery 7 on Plein
- Spier Arts Trust
- The Hub
- The Royal Gallery
- Die Kunshuis (owners Mike & Lorna Spittal)
- 1 Royal Street Guest House (owners Ashley Stone & Antonio Tomazi)
For more information, visit www.solostudios.co.za.
Click here for online ticket sales.
You can also phone Shawn at 082 528 6785.