Do we need an excuse to admire art? Probably not, but in case we do, International Artist Day is on October 25. The 1000 Hills has art in abundance, so we invite all art lovers to enjoy a weekend of art appreciation among our beautiful hills – or even take a sketch pad or camera and allow the majesty of the 1000 hills to inspire some art of your own.
This day celebrates all forms of art paintings, sculpture, photography, architecture, installations, performance, music, and more. Through this celebration we show our respect for the passion and creativity in all artists, which in turn defines ourselves, our culture, our heritage and history.
What is not well known is that International Artist Day is rooted in the outcomes of a salary dispute between the Metropolitan Opera and the American Federation of Musicians. In the summer of 1961, President Kennedy publicly made an effort to settle the disagreement, which put the spotlight on the plight of art-makers, and encouraged a flurry of arts patronage and the establishment of art centres.
Art-makers in all disciplines have had a torrid time over Covid lockdown, so setting aside a day in our calendar to honour and affirm artists is well timed. We dream of increased patronage and support of the arts in this country! An important step in the right direction is to be reminded of the importance of art, and where possible, to support art-makers at this time.
Some worthwhile places to visit to appreciate art in 1000 Hills are Talloula – a contemporary function venue, restaurant, spa and shop in Botha’s Hill. They are also putting a renewed focus onto art and are opening a gallery of their own on 5 November from 3pm until 9pm, with live music. The gallery will be open on 6 and 7 November from 9am until 4pm with food and drinks on sale.
1000 Hills artist, Hannah Paine, has opened a new intimate gallery on the picturesque Macnut Farm and Wedding Venue – a life-long dream of hers which also offers local artists a new space in which to exhibit their works. Her gallery is at 13 Lello Road, Assagay. The gallery is open to the public every Sunday from 9am until 4pm. The beautiful new plant nursery is also open.
The 1000 Hills Arts and Craft Market, better known by name of its anchor tenant, the Pot & Kettle, is always worth a visit. It offers a selection of art and craft shops. Of special mention is Karen’s Hub which is a haven for artists – offering a comprehensive selection of decoupage, mosaics and décor and craft items – and guidance, advice and help for artists.
The Shongweni Farmers’ and Craft Market
The Shongweni Farmers’ and Craft Market has numerous stalls showcasing work by local art-makers – wire work; wood sculptures; painting; ancient African masks and antiques and collectables.
PheZulu has a huge selection of African arts and crafts. Of particular interest is their range of painted fabrics, wooden sculptures, functional art, collectables and beadwork.
Greg Hayes, master framer, purveyor of bespoke mirrors and dealer in fine art, has his gallery, studio and framing operation in 2 Castle Rd in Assagay. Boasting magnificent views of the valley, Stepping Stone Studios offers a personalised framing service for artworks of all shapes, themes, tastes and sizes.
Woza Moya is a treasure trove of beautiful art. Situation in Old Main Road Hillcrest, their Craft Shop and Art Gallery boasts one of the finest collection of locally sourced African art and craft – most especially bespoke beadwork and wooden sculptures.
And Ammazulu Palace has one of the most magnificent art collections in the region – not for sale, but to appreciate. Guided tours are offered and are well worth doing. They have works by Ardmore Ceramics, Carl Roberts, Jean Powell, Michel Schneuwly, Gert Swart and of course, owner Peter Amm.
New to 1000 Hills are the creative team from Emithini, who for years had a fabric arts outlet down the South Coast. Now relocated Old Main Road Botha’s Hill, they share space with the quaint Madala Coffee and offer amazing fabric art pieces – as cushions, garments and décor items.
We warmly invite you to savour some of the diverse, fabulous, quirky and beautiful art on offer any day, but particularly on International Artist Day which is on October 25.
Kloof Street Art
Not all art need be viewed in the formality of a gallery. Some spectacular art can be seen in unlikely places – under bridges, on walls and in unused, unsightly places. Graffiti artists, Giffy, known for his life-affirming mural art honouring nature in bold colours, has created a series of pieces on the support structures under the fly-over in Kloof as part of a Re-Imagining Durban initiative supported by 1000 Hills Community Tourism Organisation and Kloof Project. The Kloof al-fresco gallery includes images of birds in flight, a kingfisher, a fish, a butterfly and an owl. They can be viewed on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LxAce2kB0U
Good to Know
61/67 Old Main Road
Tel 031 777 1586
13 Lello Road, Assagay.
Tel 031 7652572 / 074 460 30000
Viewing by appointment only / Sundays 9am until 4pm
1000 Hills Village
168 Old Main Rd, Botha’s Hill
Tel 072 985 8306
Tel 031 777 1000
Lot 457, Mr551 Rd, Shongweni.
It is open every Saturday from 6.30 am until 12.20 pm.
Stepping Stone Studios
2 Castle Rd (entrance corner of Assagay and Castle Rd)
Greg: 083 946 9094 (office hours please)
26 Old Main Road, Hillcrest
Tel 031 765 5866
Madala Coffee Café
33 Old Main Road Botha’s Hill
20 Windsor Road, Kloof
Tel 031 764 8000
For more info: https://www.ammazulupalace.com/
To find out about other things to do in the area – visit The Valley of a 1000 Hills Community Tourism Organisation website at www.1000hillstourism.co.za. Or watch their promo video: YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyzlnGsA6Zg