by Phakamisa Mfana /@pakendof
Soweto has long been known as a cultural and artistic hub, producing world famous artists who now ply their trade in places they never dreamed they would be. That is the power of art, the ability to take a simple thought or idea and turn it into a living masterpiece, a message, a part of you that people you don’t know can relate with. Art is a form of escape, a means to delve into other creative realms of the brain. To see the world in a totally different way from anyone else, to have the courage to go beyond the mundane, to be able to paint the clouds, create a cartoon character or take that amazing photograph that you’ve always dreamed of.
The aim of Mashumi Art Project is to develop up and coming artists in Soweto, by exposing them to the broad field of art. We also aim to educate our artists and promote them to the world stage. That is why we are based at the world famous Vilakazi Street in Orlando West Soweto, known for its daily influx of international tourists. The project is based at Nex Dor resturant, a stone throw away from Mandela House. The artists work will be exhibited at the restaurant for the visiting tourists and locals alike to enjoy and if they like, purchase a piece or two. We are trying to introduce our artists to a whole new market, at the same time the artist will be an ambassador for the country in the way they depict the events, artworks and photographs they produce because they will be a representation of South Africa.
We want to start a movement of bringing art to the township, which will help educate the locals about the importance of introducing art to kids from an early age, naturing and taking care of their creative minds. With the potential and talent that exists in Soweto and Johannesburg, we want to make sure that artists are given the right platforms to expose their work. We will provide exhibiting space for developing artists who want to showcase their work to local and international audiences. We will be marketing all the artists work to the relevant target market, giving technical support and advice. We will be bringing in experienced, working art practioners to be mentors to our developing talent.
With art being such a small community and not enough resources reaching artists at ground level, it is up to the artists to empower themselves. They cannot wait and hope, they have to get out there to make things happen even if it’s at their own cost. By being out there they present themselves with an opportunity of being seen, an opportunity to be commissioned for future projects and just meeting the right people by being at the right place at the right time. Join us as we embark on this journey of discovery, unearthing some of the gems of our community. Let us work together and support our own, which is the best way for them to grow.
Facebook: Mashumi Art Projects