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FRESH PAINT GALLERY (article first published : 2007-06-24)

Fresh Paint, a spacious new gallery specialising in unusual and quirky pieces of art from throughout South Africa, opens early in July in a gracious Victorian home (with rather large distinctive blue spotted dogs on the roof) at 60 Davenport Road in Glenwood, as part of the Durban’s suburb’s thriving cultural Renaissance.

Respected ad agency bosses Greg and Lynn May are changing direction somewhat together with business associates John Wheaton and Immins Naude, and are transforming their Glenwood agency into a new gallery space. After 21 years in the advertising industry, they have chosen to shift their focus from the business end of the visual arts spectrum (in the form of graphic design) to the non-commercially driven end of the same genre, by opening up a gallery and trading in fine art, crafts and art photography.

Greg May’s vision is to exhibit art-makers and crafters from beyond the borders of KZN – irrespective of their medium. He has carefully chosen an enviable collection of distinctive, unusual and seldom-seen South African art. The Fresh Paint Gallery will show work by established industry leaders as well as emerging art-makers gleaned mostly from small towns. Much of the work is from the Free State where the Mays found town after town boasting thriving arts communities who were diligently creating fine work well off the commercial beaten track.

The gallery has also been given KZN trading rights to the delightful African Toy Shop range of hand-crafted wooden toys for children of all ages. Made by village craftspeople throughout Africa, these distinctive “toys” are made from natural and recycled materials and are culturally relevant to the community making them. Toys can be hardy and suitable as playthings for children, or elaborately detailed conversation pieces for the busy exec – such as 4x4 replicas, earth-moving machinery, airplanes and helicopters.

The African Toyshop operates on principles of fair trade and sources toys from craftspeople throughout Africa including Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Congo and Zululand. Now with a KZN outlet, The African Toyshop was established in 2005 in Gauteng in recognition of the beauty of their toys and the toymakers’ need to earn a living.

The Fresh Paint Gallery will exhibit some of the astonishing photographs by top industry professionals including Barry Downard and Greg May himself. The gallery will also showcase the impact of evolving technology which allows sophisticated digital manipulation of images. This technology has broadened the possibilities of photography a million fold and given photographers an unending palette of tools and digital darkroom at their disposal to develop their art.

It is anticipated that the gallery will host a myriad of art by a large body of art-makers. From time to time it will host specialist exhibitions focusing either on a specific artist or on a group of artists working together in a community or town.

The Fresh Paint Gallery is scheduled to open in July at 60 Davenport Road in Glenwood. Gallery hours are from 09h00 to 16h00 daily or after hours by appointment. For more information, contact the Gallery on 031 201 8367.




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