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ARITSTS IN WASHINGTON (article first published : 2000-07-19)

An exhibition featuring the work of South African artists and sculptors, many of them from KZN, was held in America’s capital city of Washington DC.

Titled Celebrate Freedom and Cultural Fusion, this collection of contemporary South African art was held in May and June this year. It was the brainchild of Enid Holden, formerly a lecturer at Natal University and currently an art consultant in the Washington, DC.

The exhibition she curated received much interest and critical acclaim. It included the impressive Images of Human Rights Portfolio as well as work by Cyril Coetzee who is the current personal portraitist to Nelson Mandela and his wife, Graça Machel. Cyril Coetzee opened the exhibition at the trendy Touchstone Gallery, a few blocks east of the White House, after it had previewed for a few days at the South African Embassy in Washington. The exhibition then travelled to New York for the celebration of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s birthday.

Enid Holden selected work of a celebratory nature for the exhibition, placing her main emphasis on artists who had not formally had the opportunity of exhibiting their work in the United States. “This collection represents just a tiny fraction of the wealth and complexity of South African artistic production which is of outstanding merit and has yet to enter the international domain with full recognition of its achievements,” she explained in her curator’s notes.




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