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Sunday, March 3, 2013


The African Art Centre is hosting its annual exhibition of lino cuts, mono prints, paintings and jewellery work produced by students from the Velobala Group. This Group comprises individuals hailing from disadvantaged backgrounds often with financial difficulties which prevent them from enrolling for visual arts degrees at formal art institutions.

This  initiative was launched in 1994 and since then the African Art Centre has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to engaging with young talented artists and allowing them to explore different mediums including ceramics, drawing, painting, jewellery, printmaking and jewellery design.

This Velobala project is supported by the Department of Fine Art at the Durban University of Technology. It has reached over 450 artists and has proved that art is a universal language that can be used to create employment, educate, heal and develop mutual respect.

In 2012 the African Art Centre received a financial grant from the Artists for Human Rights Trust to facilitate this programme. The grant enabled the Centre to host Velobala Fine Art classes simultaneously with Velobala Jewellery Classes.

Fine Art disciplines embarked on were; Drawing, facilitated by Bongumenzi Ngobese (fine art graduate); Painting by Themba Shibase (fine art lecturer and artist) and Linocut facilitated by Khulekani Ngubane (fine art graduate).

The Jewellery Design modules facilitated by Taryn Coleman (jewellery design graduate) were formulated to instil principles of jewellery design and manufacture amongst the group. Design activities encouraged the students to employ various traditional methods such as chasing and engraving on a variety of metals, enabling the students to continue with their jewellery work at home.

The Velobala Jewellery Class also produced a body of jewellery work for the Annual National Thuthuka Jewellery Competition. The group performed exceedingly well and each student received an award for excellent work.

The positive outcomes from the Velobala Outreach programme were only attained as a result of financial assistance received from Artists for Human Rights Trust, the WK Kellogg Foundation and the support of the Durban University of Technology.

The Velobala exhibition also showcases work by former Velobala Students Malibongwe Shangase, Wonder Mbambo and Lindele Msweli, who have now embarked on their art careers.

The Velobala Fine Art and Jewellery work will be on view at the African Art Centre until March 16. For more information contact the Development Officer, Nozipho Zulu on 031 303 4634.