South Africa’s longest surviving organization involved in the development and promotion of African artists and crafters is entering a new phase in its rich 57 year history. In early October the African Art Centre moved to 15 Station Drive, in the heart of one of Durban’s fast-growing cultural hubs.
“This move is partly an adaptive response to the prevailing economic climate and the need to be resilient during challenging times. During its 57 years of existence the Centre has had three “homes”: firstly Guildhall Arcade in Gardener Street, then the Tourist Junction in the old Railway Station, and then Florida Road where we have been for the last 10 years. Each space allowed the Centre to grow, develop and more especially take on an identity relevant for its time in history. Today, the move to Station Drive, this beautiful and warm space which meets our current needs, is reviving a new creative and fresh impetus not just with our existing crafters, artists and designers but is also opening up an engagement with a new community.” says Magdalene Reddy, the Director of the African Art Centre.
The vision of the African Art Centre is to create an enabling environment for the sustainable development of artists and crafters with a special focus on KwaZulu-Natal. The focus now is to strengthen economic opportunities for local KZN artists through training and development initiatives, regular exhibitions, and enhanced retail strategies.
The African Art Centre’s chairperson, Yanni Vosloo, says this about the move; “We are excited to bring the African Art Centre to a new audience whilst still serving our loyal supporters. The board and the Centre’s team have a strategic priority to preserve our cultural history through evolving who we are, as well as how our crafters and artists express themselves in an contemporary manner. I am delighted that our new home in Station Drive will be integral to the process of remaining relevant as an organisation.”
To kick off the exhibition programme, the African Art Centre is inviting local KZN artists to participate in a Celebratory Exhibition which will open on the First Thursday in December. Durban art lovers will be treated to a new exhibition every month, which will form part of Station Drive’s First Thursdays activation.