Room 13 to impress at the Art Week in Johannesburg

ART WEEK JOBURG in Braamfontein & Newtown, 23 August © Michael_Mack_Magagane

The second edition of Art Week Joburg begins on Saturday, 5 September and runs until Sunday, 13 September 2015. Art Week is a platform that brings the art community and local communities together, creating fun and accessible venues for people who are interested in the arts, but haven’t had the opportunity to access or engage with it to do so.

Johannesburg and the broader Gauteng will be creating a major public meeting point for artists, buyers, the general public and collectors, attracting international audiences and art lovers to Johannesburg.

One of the Art Week Joburg highlights will be the Room 13 Kids’ Art Exhibition and Mini Walk, both taking place on Saturday, 5 September. Room 13, a TBWA initiative, provides an art studio environment for underprivileged children to unfurl their imagination, giving them an opportunity to express themselves through anything from painting and drawing to drama, poetry and storytelling. The studios provide a safe place where children can go after school. It runs on the principle that any child can be an artist and every child is welcome.

The goal of Room 13 is to develop the art, life and entrepreneurial skills of South Africa’s disadvantaged youth. Art becomes not just another medium of self-expression but a lightning rod to develop their self-esteem and sense of purpose. There are eight Room 13 art studios in schools across South Africa. What’s unique about this initiative is that each studio is run by the school children themselves, as their own business. Their Artist-in-Residence is their employee, not their teacher.

This initiative will provide a platform for the public to see young artists’ artworks and how they express themselves culturally, socially, artistically and otherwise. The Mini Walk, with over 500 participants, kicks off at 09:30, with colourful clothing, flags, balloons and choreographed dance movements. It will be used as a tool to appeal to youth to ‘unite through strength’, with over participants from Reasoma Secondary School, Sapebuso Primary School and St. Martins de Porres School.

The Kids’ Art Exhibition, along with learner performances, will be on display from 13:00 at St. Martins de Porres School in Orlando West, Soweto and will include art from three of the Room 13 schools in the area. The Room 13 Kids’ Art Exhibition and Mini Walk will (under the guidance of a professional adult artist-in-residence) provide an exchange of ideas, skills and experience across gender, race, and age.

According to Room 13’s artist-in-residence, Nkosana Ngobese, The Art Week Room 13 Kids Art Exhibition and Mini Walk is an opportunity to bring the art community around Gauteng together. It will be entertaining and accessible for people who are interested in arts and culture, and also awarding you an opportunity to win yourself cool prizes like a self –portrait, a personalized t-shirt and artwork.

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