Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria to reopen on Heritage Day

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The Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria (Javett-UP) reopens on Heritage Day, Thursday  September 24 at 10am with a new, drive-through exhibition of South African sculpture.

The drive-through sculpture exhibition includes numerous beautiful and thought-provoking pieces by South African artists, including (but not limited to) works by Owen Ndou, Aziwimpheleli Magoro, Lucky Makamu and Azwifarwi Ragimana.

Javett-UP has collected 18 iconic sculpture pieces and has turned its basement parking area into a temporary gallery to exhibit them. This is a South African first and, says interim chief executive officer Dr Samuel Isaacs, Javett-UP looks forward to how people will respond to this innovation and to the sculpture pieces themselves.

Beautiful and thought-provoking

Shaping the Grain is curated by Gerard de Kamper, chief curator, ceramics and collections management at the University of Pretoria. It features numerous beautiful and thought-provoking pieces by South African artists, including (but not limited to) work by Owen Ndou, Aziwimpheleli Magoro, Lucky Makamu and Azwifarwi Ragimana. The pieces join those on exhibition in the art centre’s galleries, where the 101 Collecting Conversations: Signature Works of a Century; the Gold of Africa; and the All in a Day’s Eye exhibitions of modern South African art reopen after nearly six months of lockdown.

Membership packages

The art centre is also celebrating its reopening with the debut of three membership options that offer three different ways of joining the Javett-UP family. The membership packages — Purple Jacaranda, Silver Bridge and Gold of Africa — come with various benefits. Each grants members special access to Javett-UP; exclusive invitations to member-only events; member-only rates for hiring any of the Javett-UP’s wonderful venues; and guaranteed access to openings and workshops.

“Javett-UP is uniquely a home for the art of Africa: a place where people come to engage with, study and view the work of the artists of this continent. We not only acknowledge and celebrate African artists at Javett-UP, we also give their work a space where the narrative of this continent may unfold with integrity and authenticity,” says Isaacs.

Covid-19 protocols

Covid-19 protocols and protection measures are firmly in place for the Heritage Day reopening and will remain in place for as long as necessary. “Nothing matters more to us than the safety of visitors and staff, so every measure is being applied to keeping everybody in the art centre safe from the coronavirus,” assures Isaacs.

“We are in the business at Javett-UP of taking care of precious, beautiful things. We have brought exactly the same diligence to safeguarding the health of all in the art centre.”

To ensure social distancing, the number of people who will be permitted into the art centre is limited to 150 at a time. Entry is free on Heritage Day, so demand for spaces is bound to be high. Please refer to the Javett-UP website for more information on how social distancing will be implemented at the art centre and how to assure that you are permitted entry on Heritage Day: www.javettup.art.

“We are excited to be opening again,” Isaacs says. “We had our grand opening last year on Heritage Day, so it’s fitting that the art centre reopens after the Covid-19 lockdown on the same day this year.”

Javett-UP is at 23 Lynnwood Road, Pretoria. For more details, write to [email protected]

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