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BUSINESS DAY ART (article first published : 2004-03-26)

Resource finance house, JCI Ltd, has put its support behind an exciting new project that is set to foster dynamic relationships between the business sector and South Africa's visual arts industry.

JCI has invested in excess of R1,3 million into the production of an arts publication to be published with Business Day, called Business Day Art. Together with co-sponsor, Business Arts South Africa (BASA), (an organisation that promotes business involvement in the cultural sector) it has ensured that Business Day Art, the only publication of its kind in South Africa, will be published on a quarterly basis. The aim of Business Day Art is to promote South African art as a serious long term investment opportunity.

This significant sponsorship follows JCI chief executive Brett Kebble's personal patronage of South African art in the form of the Brett Kebble Art Awards, the largest visual arts award in the country. Says Kebble: "It is important for the development of South African art that there is a flourishing art market. Business Day is an ideal vehicle through which to reach the important business community, a relatively untapped market."

Art has a longstanding tradition of patronage but because of a serious lack of funding for South African arts in the last decade, the industry has had difficulty in promoting itself. Despite the international acclaim garnered by artists such as William Kentridge and Kay Hassan who command top prices for their work, at present very few investors would consider artwork in the same way they would property or stocks.

According to Julius Baumann, editor of Business Day Art, "The publication will function as a guide to buying and selling South African art for both the private and corporate investor." It will address issues surrounding art acquisition, including the function and growth of corporate collections and profile both up and coming, and established artists worth investing in.

Nicola Danby, CEO of BASA says she is very excited about the possibilities created by the groundbreaking partnership. "For the first time in a leading financial daily, the arts are presented as part of the socio-economic mainstream; an investment opportunity for the individual or corporate buyer, and a material and imaginative element of civil society. We would indeed be poorer without the arts."

The first supplement was produced with the Business Day on March 5, 2003.




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