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Monday, January 20, 2014


(“the dancer” – by Penny Brown, mixed media work)

One of the highlights of the KZNSA Galleries’ calendar is the Members' Exhibition. This group show is open to submissions from all Members of the Society. All that members need to do to participate is ensure their 2014 Membership is paid up.  Every year, members of the KZNSA submit art works in keeping with a particular theme. The theme for 2014 is Grassroots.

Typically, the Gallery presents over 100 artworks reflecting a broad range of mediums and disciplines. The sheer abundance of creativity and the extraordinary diversity of interpretations of the theme together with generous prize money in five categories attract considerable attention and excitement within the visual arts community.

The Members' Exhibition offers generous prizes in memory of Joan Emmanuel, a long-standing member of the KZNSA and passionate supporter of the visual arts. There is R10,000 first prize, a R5,000 second prize, and a R2,500 third prize. There is also a R1,500 prize for the most innovative interpretation of the theme and R1,000 awarded as a merit prize.

Beyond the obvious and typical meaning of ‘Grassroots’, namely the below ground aspect of one of the most varied and tenacious of plant species, lies a more nuanced and ‘social’ phrase that has come to mean ‘popular’ or ‘of the people’.

In South Africa, this has an added socio-political connotation which refers directly to democratic principles that recognize the power and value of governance ‘by and for the people’. ‘Grassroots movements imply communities acting at a local level by supporting common concerns. Members are encouraged to explore the richness of this theme and its layers of meanings. A fitting theme for the 20th year of South African democracy.

Grassroots opens at 18h00 on January 21 to run until February 16. The KZNSA Gallery is situated at 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, in Durban. More information on 031 277 1703, fax 031 201 8051 or cell 082 220 0368 or visit