Last Thursdays in Stellenbosch have been around for a little while now, and I’ve never had the chance to spend to take part in it, until last week when I finally managed to make it!
Last Thursdays are the Stellenbosch take on the First Thursdays program that takes place in a number of cities – Cape Town has an incredible First Thursdays initiative at the moment. Basically, it is when a lot of the art galleries, or the art departments of universities etc open their doors after hours for people to explore and (you’ll never guess when) it happens on the Last Thursday of every month.
The Stellenbosch art culture is very strong, with outdoor public art exhibitions that change every few months exposing you to incredible art wherever you walk in the town. There seems to be a tiny art gallery on every street corner, and creativity is something that is celebrated.
Often galleries chose this day to launch new exhibitions, or showcase up and coming local artists and there is often something extra going on – like poetry readings, or even this previous Thursday the Visual Arts Department of Stellenbosch University had a “draw for wine” event where you (wait for it) draw, and get wine!
I didn’t make it every art gallery, but I took a casual stroll around a few of them, and I really enjoyed just looking at art again. You guys might remember that last year in Europe I spent a lot of time in art galleries, and I do miss that quite a lot. My favourite exhibition was the Infinite Loop exhibition by Kate Gottgens at the SMAC (Stellenbosch Modern and Contemporary Art) gallery. I’ve actually never been to this gallery before, which is slightly ridiculous because I work literally across the road from it.
Her artworks were all very conceptual and beautiful, all a little bit rough and very colourful and powerful works. There was a beautiful variety of size, colour and feeling spread across several rooms of her art and I really loved seeing the way that she created such emotion in such simple works of art. She is definitely an artist to look up if you’re interested in art.
I can’t wait until the end of next month to see what else is on offer!