GALLERY | Exciting art exhibitions on show

With the commonly dreaded month of January done and dusted, the new year is in full swing and many may well have forgotten they ever had a holiday. 

Luckily, for those who would like to relive those carefree December feelings, a number of Bay art galleries have exciting exhibitions on offer. 

Here is what's on show at some of the galleries available to art lovers: 

The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum

The gallery on 1 Park Drive opened its exhibition Passage on January 27. The exhibition features selected works that take the viewer on unique journeys through the past and present, both real and imaginary.

Artist Keith Dietrich retraces colonial and pre-colonial trade routes through his giant watercolour paintings while Andrietta Wentzel’s 12 sculptural totems invite viewers on a hero-inspired journey.

Natasha Bezuidenhout’s large-scale ceramic installation is a memory of a life-changing journey made during her childhood while Berni Searle’s video brings attention to the plight of African refugees who risked their lives to get to the Canary Islands in the hope of a better life in Europe. The exhibition runs until March 13.

Also at the Nelson Mandela Art Museum is the exhibition Art Our Passion - Museum Our Home which opened in September 2019 and runs until Saturday.

It is  a celebration of art through pieces from the museum's collection. The  artworks were picked by the museum's staff and  are accompanied by quotes and stories in which the staff share experiences or observations about the artwork.

Journey to South Africa: Struggle & Resistance opened on December 4 and features artworks by artists from Jacksonville, Florida, in the United States. The artists were invited to make works in response to the theme “Journey to South Africa: Struggle & Resistance” in 2018 when the annual exhibition turned 25. Nelson Mandela Bay was selected as a Sister City partner for Jacksonville in 2000 because of its profound liberation history and 2020 marks a 20-year milestone for Jacksonville’s participation in the Sister Cities project.

The museum is open from 9am until 4.30pm on weekdays  (closed on Tuesday mornings) and 9.15am to 12:45pm on the second Saturday and last Sunday of the month.

Galerie NOKO

Consensus opened at the Russell Road gallery on December 11. The  exhibition features artists Siyabonga Ngaki, Dotun Makun, Carmen Ford, Lerato Motau,  Sizwe Khoza, Jasson Jaffray, Mathias Chirombo, Banele Njadayi, Hendrick Nerkhofe and others.

With each work, the artist represents ‘DNA’ that unequivocally contributes, whether positively or negatively, to the makeup of the rainbow nation. Though these works are not themed or restricted in media, the artworks are carefully considered and selected to enable a broader sense of visual metaphor and cultural appeal. Consensus runs until February 7.

Galerie NOKO is open from 10am to 6pm on weekdays and 10am to 4pm on Saturdays.


The ArtEC gallery is showing two sets of artworks from the gallery's recent RioArt show, with kiddies artworks created during the FunArtivities workshops on one side of the gallery and various pieces by local artists in the Gallery Messh on another side. The informal exhibition, set to run until the second week of February, stemmed from the bimonthly RioArt  sessions - a three day music and art programme for budding artists.

The gallery's first formal exhibition for the year, titled New Additions, is set to open in March. Meanwhile, the public is invited to make use of the gallery for events and exhibitions. 

ArtEC is open from 9am to 4pm from Tuesday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.

NMU Bird Street Gallery

The Nelson Mandela University Bird Street Gallery opens the MA Candidate Exhibition at 6pm on Wednesday. The exhibition, highlighting the creativity of Nelson Mandela University’s Visual Arts master's students currently presenting their respective bodies of work for examination, features Micaela Scholtz and Pola Maneli.

Scholtz's “Exposed: Revelations of the one in ten” looks into the impact of stereotypical views and misrepresentation on how women experience ‘invisible’ gynaecological illnesses such as endometriosis. The exhibition challenges the stereotypical ideals and representations of femininity through presenting that which is often deemed as taboo.

Maneli's “An Indigenous I/Eye” is An interrogation into the construction of identity, space, and meaning in the visual arts landscape, and an exploration of the terrain that lies beyond it. 

The MA Candidate Exhibition runs until February 14.

The NMU art gallery is open from 9am to 3pm on weekdays.