CENTRAL’S Galerie Noko has put a new twist on a popular art initiative to create a platform to boost talented young emerging artists. The exhibition, NewNowNext Eastern Cape, which runs at the Russell Road gallery until January 30, aims to help develop the careers of these upcoming artists by giving them exposure in national group shows, according to Galerie Noko director Usen Obot, himself a well-known artist.
Obot said although the show was already established in 2007, this year’s exhibition for the first time allows entrants from around the country the opportunity to receive national exposure.
“In the past it was a very locally-based exhibition. This year is no different in the sense that the majority of the 33 artists selected are from the Bay. But the difference is we ran the exhibition as a competition and will be swapping art with other national galleries.
“By swapping art pieces the PE-based artists will create a name for themselves nationally, while the art we receive from bigger galleries provides insight for locals into new trends and the development of art on a national level.”
“Initially it is very hard for new artists to establish themselves because gallery owners often refuse to show work by unheard of or new, emerging talent. That was why we started the exhibition in 2007.”
Obot said some of the artists who entered this year had received mentorship so they would be better able to deliver gallery-quality work. “All 56 pieces of art on display are unique and for sale.”
Port Elizabeth’s Banele Njadayi, 33, grabbed second place in the competition , narrowly losing to Johannesburg-based Neo Matloga.
“It is hard to establish a name for yourself in the art arena especially in Port Elizabeth,” Njadayi said. “That’s why exhibitions like this are important.”
Contact Usen Obot on (041) 582-2090, 073-088-5883 or firstname.lastname@example.org – Tremaine van Aardt