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THE HERITAGE ARTS FESTIVAL (article first published : 2007-09-24)

The Heritage Arts Festival is a key event in the Celebrate Durban season and may possibly be the single biggest visual arts festival on the continent. It opens at the Gateway Theatre of Shopping on September 27 hosted the City of Durban, Kizo Arts Consultant and Gateway Theatre of Shopping.

The festival will kick off with a heritage-themed, VIP gala event on September 26. Heritage awards will be presented to those who have contributed to the development and preservation of South Africa’s heritage through the arts. Nominees include Esther Mahlangu, Vusi Xima, May Radebe, Andrew Verster, the late David Rattray and the late Kessie Govender. Six awards will be presented in total. Adding to the evening is an entertainment line up put together by Mbongeni Ngema. Tickets R150 pp available from Kizo at Gateway.

The festival, which opens on September 27, is a multilayered festival catering for all tastes. Artists in Motiontaking place in the Expo Xplore Zone (near the climbing rock area) in Gateway from September 27 to 30, will showcase more than 32 of the province’s top artists who will be exhibiting and working on site. Throughout the weekend there will be workshops and painting lessons open to the public.

The Kizo Gallery will host The Heritage Arts Exhibition. Highlights of the festival include pieces by Esther Mahlangu, Wakaba Mutheki, Carl Roberts and Paul Sekete. This exhibition will run throughout the festival and continue through the month of October.

On the Ster Kinekor level, The School Arts Exhibition will be held from September 27 to 30, and will feature a number of pieces from schools in the area. The pieces will be selected from the top schools taking part in Kizo’s School Arts Programme.

Sculptors in Motion is underway throughout the month of September leading up to the festival where members of the public can watch 12 sculptors, working on individual pieces in the Palm Boulevard. The pieces will all be exhibited in the Kizo Art Gallery during the festival.

Nadia Meer heads up the Indo-African Arts and Craft Exchange. This arts and craft exhibition will bring together traditional Indian crafters and local artisans, in a celebration of their work. This crafters paradise will be taking place in the Palm Boulevard from September 28 to 30.

The festival has attracted some of the biggest names in the industry: Esther Mahlangu, Wakaba Mutheki, Andrew Verster, Colbert Mashile, Velaphi Mzimba, Paul Sekete, Lindelani Ngwenya, Izzy Duarte, Sam Nhlengethwa, Andrew Walford, Ardmore Ceramics, Robin Opperman, Keith Culder, Carl Roberts, Barry Dibb and Martin Wenkidu. In total, over 70 artists will be involved in the festival.

“Esther Mahlangu herself has been so inspired by the festival that on her return from painting the Fiat car in Italy she will be coming to the festival to work on five beaded blankets that she is specifically designing for the festival,” enthuses festival spokesman Max Henderson. “Anthony Mutheki is joining forces and he will be starting the first of his Freedom Fighters, Watershed Moments project from a court space in Gateway. Nadia Meer and the Ukusa Design Company will be bringing a group of traditional tribal painters out from India to demonstrate their craft. Henk Vos will be unveiling a spectacular piece that has been 10 years in the making. This really is going to be a festival of the highest calibre and the province is buzzing with anticipation for it!”

For a full itinerary, contact Max Henderson on maxhenderson@vodamail.co.za or Kizo Gallery on 031 566 4324.




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