August Art Month 2023 – Cape Moments | Kaapse Oomblikke

VIEW the calendar of events for August Art Month 2023

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(Events will be added to the calendar in the next few days)

Robert Gwelo Goodman | Dawn on Table Mountain

The 2023 edition of August Art Month at Welgemeend promises to deliver on its status as the premier art event in Cape Town’s winter culture calendar. A collaboration between art collectors and philanthropists Frank and Lizelle Kilbourn, the volunteer group Friends of Welgemeend, auction house Strauss & Co and premium winemaker Delaire Graff Estate, this year’s tenth edition of August Art Month at Welgemeend (2 – 31 August 2023) takes as its theme the geography, essential characteristics and history of the Western Cape.

Anchored by an exhibition, Cape Moments / Kaapse Oomblikke will feature a wide-ranging selection of historical and contemporary art about the Cape that has been acquired over many years by the Kilbourn family and invited co-collectors. As is tradition, the extensive social, educational and hospitality programme for 2023 August Art Month at Welgemeend will reflect the themes of this art exhibition.

Twenty-one years ago, Lizelle and I relocated with our children from Johannesburg to Cape Town,” says Frank Kilbourn, businessman and chairperson of Strauss & Co. “Cape Town is much smaller and more intimate than Johannesburg and our relationships with several dealers, gallerists and auction houses allowed us to be exposed to, meet and befriend an exciting variety of Cape-based artists. This certainly expanded our collection and deepened the joy we derive from it. We are proud to have been involved with our partners, The Friends of Welgemeend, Strauss & Co and Delaire Graff, in preserving Welgemeend and bringing art to our community.

Frank Kilbourn, who is curating the exhibition together with Strauss & Co’s head curator Wilhelm van Rensburg, adds: “For the tenth edition of August Art Month at Welgemeend, we thought it would be rewarding to look specifically at the many and diverse portrayals of life and the landscape of the Cape by artists we collect. It is always a joy to hang these exhibitions at Welgemeend, and this year we hope to once again surprise visitors with a selection of artworks that encompass both the natural beauty of the region and important social events particular to this part of South Africa.

The artist line up is thoroughly diverse and ranges from celebrated Cape landscape painters like Gregoire Boonzaier, Gwelo Goodman, J. E. A. Volschenk, Hugo Naude’ and Eric Laubscher to documentary photographers David Goldblatt, George Hallett and Jürgen Schadeberg. The exhibition will include a focus on Simon’s Town-born painter and graphic artist Peter Clarke, whose socially minded work lovingly focussed on life in the Cape Peninsula. Nic Bladen’s life-size bronze studies of petite Cape flora contrast with painter Matthew Hindley’s larger-scale studies of fires on Table Mountain.

I am particularly fond of the heritage and educational aspect of August Art Month at Welgemeend,” says Lizelle Kilbourn, lawyer and writer. “This project, which is about fostering art and community, takes place in a landmark space that is 330 years old. Welgemeend houses and displays earlier 20th-century masterpieces formerly owned by the much-loved Afrikaans poet and scholar Izak Wilhelmus “Boerneef” van der Merwe. It is important that we as South Africans are afforded opportunities to reflect on our cultural heritage and share the incredible art that has been created in our country.

Cultivating an appreciation for art and enriching the experience of it for those already on their journey as collectors is central to our function as South Africa’s premier auction house,” says Bina Genovese, Managing Executive, Strauss & Co. “August Art Month at Welgemeend has established itself as a wonderful platform allowing private collectors to show their work to an art-interested public. We are proud to support this superb annual initiative, which is an important passion project for us.

The busy programme for 2023 August Art Month at Welgemeend commences with a ticketed opening gala dinner and fundraising auction (R1300 p/p) catered by Jacques Erasmus, owner of renowned Cape Town restaurant Hemelhuijs. Frank Kilbourn will offer four public walkabouts of Cape Moments / Kaapse Oomblikke, on 5, 8, 11 and 18 August (R200 p/p). Virtuoso pianist Gerhard Joubert will perform a recital on 20 August (R300 p/p).

There will also be a number of public lectures by notable personalities, including art writer and critic Amanda Botha and Strauss & Co lead auctioneer Bina Genovese. Wilhelm van Rensburg, co-curator with Frank Kilbourn of Cape Moments / Kaapse Oomblikke, will discuss the history of Cape arts on 12 August.

For a full programme of events, including dates, timings and costs, please consult either the Strauss & Co or Welgemeend Art websites. The net proceeds of all the events will be utilised for the continued preservation and renovation of Welgemeend.

About August Art Month: Established in 2014 by art collector Frank Kilbourn and auctioneer Stephan Welz, Strauss & Co’s founding director who passed away in 2015, the initiative aims to shore up support for Welgemeend, a historic home built on the slopes of Table Valley in 1693. Welgemeend was declared a national monument in 1944. It is owned and managed by Jan van Riebeeck Hoërskool, in collaboration with the Friends of Welgemeend. August Art Month is an important source of revenue for the maintenance and preservation of this landmark Cape property.

About Strauss & Co: Strauss & Co is Africa’s leading art auction house. With monthly online sales and marquee live auctions, Strauss & Co offers African and international art, as well as design, wine and jewellery, at all price levels. Market leaders in modern and contemporary art at auction in Africa, Strauss & Co (founded in 2009) actively champions artists, designers and wine producers from the African region. It supports various education and community engagement programmes.

About Delaire Graff Estate: The Delaire Graff Estate in Stellenbosch was acquired in 2003 by Laurence Graff, Chairman, Graff Diamonds International, and opened to public in 2010 as a world-class destination for wine, art, cuisine, and an escape from the everyday. The estate produces supremely elegant vintages from Bordeaux reds and Chardonnay grapes grown in vineyards situated on the slopes of Botmaskop Mountain. The estate is also known for its large showcase of art from Laurence Graff’s personal art collection.