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Thursday, July 17, 2014


There will be a spotlight on visual arts and crafts at this year’s annual Witness Hilton Arts Festival, with extended exhibition space and elevated focus being given to crafters and art makers allowing for an interesting array of art and craft items being available, and carefully-curated exhibitions being on the programme at this year’s festival which takes place on the beautiful grounds of the Hilton College from September 18 to 21, 2014.

The annual Witness Hilton Arts Festival is broadly considered to be KZN’s premier arts and culture festival and one of the top festivals in the country which consistently produces an unmatched programme of cutting-edge drama, comedy, music and music revue, as well as an impressive array of arts and crafts appealing to all who visit the festival each year.

“2014 will see the development of the visual arts in an exciting and dynamic way,” confirms festival director, Sue Clarence. “As with all artistic endeavours of this nature, a great deal hinges on the support of business partnerships. I am excited to announce that ChemSpec will partner the festival for this exciting new arts-focus expansion. Their sponsorship arrangement includes provision for a stand-alone art exhibition directory / catalogue with details of all participating artists.”

Two enormous marquees to be situated on the majestic Hilton College lawns overlooking the Wild Garden (near the Bell Tower) will house a huge selection of art and craft this year – allowing for an impressive body of work representing many of the country’s significant art-makers and crafters to be available in a single central, well-lit, conducive and secure environment. One marquee will be exclusively for crafters and the other – the ChemSpec Arts Marquee – will be for visual artists. All work will be for sale.

There will be a link marquee which will house a cosy bar-area and live music stage where elegant live music will be performed throughout the weekend. The ChemSpec Art Exhibition formally opens with a cocktail party on the evening of September 18 and runs from that evening until late afternoon on September 21.

Embedded into the main festival using two primary exhibition spaces - the Normand Dunn Gallery and the Raymond Slater library - will be various exhibitions of major national importance carefully negotiated with national galleries and major arts festivals. The intention is that Hilton will be included on the national visual arts repertory allowing major touring exhibitions to consider a season at the festival in their national exhibition year plan. Much like the performing arts community factor in a weekend at Hilton when planning their performance calendar.

For the arts and craft focus, the festival will promote a maximum of ten developmental artists; approximately 40 established visual artists and approximately 160 crafters / crafting co-ops.

Curators interested in finding out more about the Normand Dunn and Raymond Slater exhibition spaces should contact Sue Clarence on

More festival information on, or like the Facebook page ~ Witness Hilton Arts Festival - or follow the festival on Twitter ~ @HiltonFest. All enquiries on 033 383 0127 or email: