Life-Line: Art in the time of Covid-PESP Projects Exhibition

Life-Line: Art in the time of Covid-PESP Projects Exhibition

Art Bank of South Africa and Oliewenhuis Art Museum celebrated the success of their Presidential Employment Stimulus Programmes (PESP) with an exhibition showcasing a selection of artworks from the ArtBankSA Banking with Art – Connecting Lives Art Bank Commissioning Programme and images of murals created for the Public Arts Programme – Towards a People’s Culture.

The Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme was a response to the clarion call by the Honourable President for job creation with a focus on youth, women, and people with disability towards economic recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic. The intention was for the Visual Arts sector to create temporary employment funded by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, between November 2020 and March 2021. The National Museum implemented three PESP programmes:

1. Banking with Art – Connecting Lives Art Bank Commissioning Programme

The Art Bank of South Africa in partnership with the Cultural and Creative Industries Federation (CCIFSA) invited 100 artists from all provinces to create artworks for potential inclusion into the ArtbankSA Contemporary Visual Art Collection. A selection of these contemporary artworks, now officially part of the ArtbankSA Collection forms part of the Life-Line: Art in the time of Covid-PESP Projects exhibition.  Included as part of the exhibition is a large woodcarving in the Sculpture Park, Sefate sa dipale tsa Africa / A tale about an African tree, carved by local woodcarvers, David Molapisi, Bernette Phalatsane, Kaizer Mafereka and Hartman Magasi.

 2. Banking with Art – Connecting Lives Visual Art Graduate/Emerging Artist Placement Programme

The Art Bank of South Africa in partnership with the Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA) provided the opportunity for visual arts organisations, galleries and individual mentors operating in the visual arts sector in all provinces to host 56 interns. This programme sought to place emerging visual artists and/or graduates with commercial galleries or visual arts institutions for up-skilling to undergo in-house training. As part of this programme six interns were appointed to complete an internship programme at Oliewenhuis Art Museum and ArtBankSA. The interns assisted in various tasks and activities at Oliewenhuis Art Museum and gained invaluable knowledge. They curated and installed an exceptional exhibition, HOME, as a collaborative project. The exhibition was on show in the Annex Gallery at Oliewenhuis Art Museum from 18 March – 9 May 2021.

The Bloemfontein based interns were Kamagelo Walaza, Puleng Rampone, Antoinette Strydom, Nkosana Mxakaza, Mamosa Lesenyeho and Julian Mentz also assisted with all aspects of the Public Art Programme.

3. A Public Arts Programme – Towards A People’s Culture

The Oliewenhuis Art Museum recruited 92 young people from all over the Free State, to participate in the Free State Public Arts Programme, as part of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme. The programme aimed to popularize national symbols of our freedom and create national pride about these transformative elements of South Africa through a dedicated Public Art Murals programme. The Public Arts programme also raised awareness of social ills such as Gender Based Violence and the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as instilling community pride and nurturing a sense of place.  The project was managed by Oliewenhuis Art Museum in collaboration with artist and Art Coordinator, Marius Jansen van Vuuren. At the start of the project, workshops were arranged and presented by the Art Coordinator, in Mangaung (including Botshabelo, Thaba Nchu and Soutpan/Ikgomotseng), Ficksburg, Koffiefontein, Harrismith, Phuthaditjhaba and Welkom. Team leaders and their teams conceptualised, planned and secured sites for large murals before the physical painting of the murals commenced. The murals were created in-situ in busy public spaces, engaging commuters and local communities. Finally 21 murals were completed in all of the above mentioned areas, including two at Oliewenhuis Art Museum.  

Visit the Oliewenhuis and the Public Arts Programme’s social media pages to learn more: @OliewenhuisArtMuseum

@FSPublicArtsProgramme The exhibition was be on show between 11 July and 22 August 2021 at Oliewenhuis Art Museum, located on 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein.

360° tour of the Art Bank of South Africa and Oliewenhuis Art Museum “Life Line: Art in the time of COVID – PESP Projects” Exhibition