After months of being closed, the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria reopened on Heritage Day — with a bit of a twist. Visitors to the Javett-UP are treated to Shaping the Grain, their new drive-through sculpture exhibition.
“We have brought together a collection of iconic sculpture pieces, and we’re turning our basement parking area into a temporary gallery to exhibit them,” says Dr Samuel Isaacs, interim CEO of Javett-UP.
As far as the university is aware, this drive-through exhibit will be a first in SA and adds to the innovative list of ways in which local galleries and art fairs have been showing art during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Curated by Gerard de Kamper, the exhibition of 18 sculptures will include pieces by South African artists like Aziwimpheleli Magoro, Owen Ndou, Lucky Makamu and Azwifarwi Ragimana.
Having had its grand opening on Heritage Day last year, it is fitting that the centre reopened on the same date this year after the relaxation of lockdown restrictions.
“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 be told with integrity and authenticity,” says Isaacs.
Covid-19 protocols will be in place to ensure the safety of visitors.
Says Isaacs: “At Javett-UP, we are in the business of taking care of precious, beautiful things. We have brought exactly the same diligence to safeguarding the health of all in the art centre.”
• The Javett-UP is open from 10am to 5pm daily. Due to social distancing measures in place, only 150 people will be allowed at a time. Visit their website for more details.