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NANDO’S SUPPORTS ART (article first published : 2007-10-25)

Nando’s has invested in the visual arts and the result of this investment will see at least one artwork hanging on all its restaurant walls. Some restaurants feature a series of works-all proudly South African.

The initiative took its cue from the Nando’s UK chain, which has given South African artists the opportunity to gain international exposure by hanging their artwork on restaurant walls. Capetonian Jeanetta Blignaut, who curated the art for the UK collection, says it was the first time some of the artists exhibited their work overseas: “We have made an effort to keep it diverse…It helps to create an atmosphere, gives artists a platform, and South Africans in London also enjoy viewing the art,” she says.

The art ranges in medium from beading and weaving to glass, oil painting, watercolours and wood cuts. The efforts of the Nando’s UK won it the 2006 Business Day / Basa international Sponsorship category for supporting South African art overseas. In response to the award, Nando’s UK tried to show as many types of art possible, the only proviso being that the works should sit comfortably in the restaurants and add an overall ambience.

The South African group has followed suit and all renovated and new restaurants are adorned with contemporary local art that is giving them a new “look and feel”. The artworks are selected according to the ambience the restaurant wants to create or accentuate, and are visible, well lit and carefully placed.

Nando’s SA MD Kevin Utian says the aim of the initiative is primarily to help previously disadvantaged individuals who are not getting recognition. “We wanted to do something with the communities to support them and also put the art in our stores. The store is used as a gallery…a selling point for South African artists to use as a showroom.” Emphasis is placed on authenticity: the art is not a copy but the original art piece.”




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