Art world’s new recruit

Octayvia Nance

A NELSON Mandela Metropolitan University master’s student has been given a platform to connect the arts with the community as the new arts intern at ArtEC in Central.

Bantu Mtshiselwa, 28, who works at ArtEC twice a week as well as on his master’s degree research in ceramic design, believes he has the drive to get the job done.

“I know I’m not an expert. My aim is to try and bring about change to the institution and allow the voice of the developing artists to be heard by creating a space where they will feel welcome and comfortable in,” he says.

“ArtEC is a community arts centre so I plan to try and be the link between the institution and the community at large.”

He is in the process of finishing a six-month mentoring project.

“I will be conducting a hands-on craft workshop as part of the Mandela Bay Development Agency’s ‘know your artists’ in July.

“I will be focusing on established artists working with the developing artists – especially the self-taught artists.

“I have also chosen a very young, talented ceramic student to mentor because I believe in development and giving opportunities to other young people.”

Mtshiselwa also helped to curate and organise the 94th ArtEC Annual Exhibition, on until July 12.

His duties entail managing the gallery shop, liaising with suppliers (artists and crafters), dealing with marketing, and scouting for new stock in the Eastern Cape.

“My duties are also to create a database of members, buyers and artists and also attracting potential corporate members. I also help curate exhibitions held at ArtEC.

“We have exhibition openings every second Tuesday – the [alternate] Tuesdays we are running culture evenings where we have a series of events, from music to art movies and lectures.

“Our next event is an evening of jazz meeting classical music. Details for this will follow. We want to create an atmosphere where ArtEC would be a meeting point for all art lovers in PE,” he said.

Mtshiselwa recently returned from Hamburg, where he did a mosaic project at Emthonjeni Arts.

“I have a passion for community work and performing arts too – that’s what I do to keep myself inspired,” he said.

Mtshiselwa said interning at the art centre didn’t feel like work.

“My experience has been awesome. Working with Asanda Mlata, the gallery manager, is a learning experience and ArtEC’s Theresa Hardman is a great teacher.”

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