+27 51 447 9609
36 Aliwal Street
Bloemfontein, South Africa

Oliewenhuis Art Museum

Temporary Exhibitions 2024

Great Expectations: Selected works from ArtbankSA Contemporary Art Collection

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is excited to announce that the Great Expectations: Selected works from ArtbankSA Contemporary Art Collection, will be showcased at the museum from 14 March to 2 June 2024. This poignant, yet inspiring exhibition, travelled from the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria, and will be on display for the local and surrounding audiences.

As South Africa gears for the 2024 general elections, Great Expectations takes a moment to reflect on dreams and hopes held for a free and equal South Africa almost three decades ago. The exhibition is a thought-provoking and meaningful exploration of identity, society, the built environment, and the spirit of the times in the context of the country's 30-year journey towards democracy.

The exhibition continues the conversation on the overall curatorial theme around meaning making by way of visual art, exploring, heritage, the self, and the collective contemporary South Africa plunged into a reckoning around uncomfortable historic truths and reflecting on the future implications of the decisions made now with a special focus on the disconnect between expectations, reality, and the audacity to find hope.

Great Expectations exhibition was curated with a selection of artworks from Art Bank of South Africa Contemporary Art Collection by the entity’s Project Manager Nonto Msomi. It features works by notable South African contemporary artists including Banele Khoza, Lithemba Mpambani, Luyanda Zindela, Mkhize Khulekani, Mothobi Mefane, Thando Mama, Zakhale Hlabisa and Mellaney Roberts to list a few. The selected artist’s works make a monumental contribution in capturing the complex tapestry of experiences, aspirations, and challenges that have shaped the nation during its post-apartheid era.

While the ArtbankSA’s mandate is to purchase artworks from South African artists, particularly that of emerging artists to lease and sell the artworks to South African government departments, private companies, and private individuals, Msomi is tasked with establishing and developing the entity’s Contemporary Visual Art Collection. She has extensive experience in the art world having worked as the Assistant Director at the William Humphreys Art Gallery (2020-2021), the visual arts coordinator, curator, and facilitator at the BAT Centre Trust (2017), lead for the Cultural Activities and Youth Programming for the International AIDS Conference (2016), and the KZN regional coordinator of Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA) (2013-2015).

The exhibition will be on view until Sunday, 2 June 2024. Oliewenhuis Art Museum is situated at 16 Harry Smith Street in Bloemfontein. The Museum is open to the public from Monday to Friday, operating hours are from 08:00 to 17:00. On Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays, the museum is open from 09:00 to 16:00. Admission is free, and there is secure parking available for visitors at a cost of R10 per car, payable in cash. Wheelchair access is provided through a ramp at the main entrance, and there is also a lift available for access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor.

To obtain further details regarding the opening or exhibition, kindly get in touch with Yolanda de Kock, Assistant Project Manager of ArtbankSA at 051 447 9606 or fs1@artbanksa.org.

About the Art Bank of South Africa

Art Bank of South Africa (ArtbankSA) is a national programme of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture as part of the Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) strategy implementation and is hosted by the National Museum Bloemfontein, an agency of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture. Its vision is to promote, foster and stimulate a vibrant market for the collection of South African contemporary visual art through the lease and sell of artworks to South African government departments, private companies, and private individuals.

Visit www.artbanksa.org for more information.

Apply Now
Realigned An exhibition curated by the Art Museum Guides at Oliewenhuis Art Museum

Exhibition:  Realigned, an exhibition curated by the Art Museum Guides at Oliewenhuis Art Museum

Venue:  The Reservoir, Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

 Dates:  7 March – 5 May 2024

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is excited to present an exhibition titled Realigned, curated by the current Art Museum Guides; Jacobeth Selinga, Zethu Mvila, Ziya Khubeka, Wandile Maseko, Mpho Nyeule and Mikayla Swartz, with assistance of the Education Officer, Natley Barnardo. These young individuals used their creative abilities to skilfully curate a reflective exhibition that encourages one to reflect, connect and realign with self.

The exhibition was curated by selecting artworks from Oliewenhuis Art Museum’s Permanent Collection, The Art Bank of South Africa and artefacts from the Collection Management and Library Department. Realigned features inspiring artists such as Leora Farber, Judy Woodborne, Lionel Abrahams, and Michael Selekane among many great South African artists. The aforementioned artists creatively and efficiently examine a variety of subjects through their different visual expressions, making for an engaging viewing experience.

The exhibition's title is derived from the word "re-alignment," which refers to the act of changing or restoring something to a different or former position or state. The subjects that are explored are roots, identity, mental issues, body image, journey, tranquillity and restoration. Roots reflect back on where we come from, the teachings of elders and the legacy they have left. Identity takes you on a path of self-discovery. Mental issues investigate how the body responds to trauma and psychological issues. Body image confronts beauty and societal standards. Journey leads you down a path with no clear destination in mind; it urges you to embrace the path itself. Tranquillity celebrates the calm that follows after the storm. Restoration contemplates on the aforementioned topics. Realigned leads one on a journey of self-discovery, encouraging confrontation, reflection and connection with oneself.

This annual exhibition, curated by the Interns: Art Museum Guides at Oliewenhuis Art Museum under the mentoring and guidance of the Curator and Education Officer, forms part of the Art Museum Guides' thorough training and experience throughout their contract period. They are given the opportunity to collaborate on an exhibition as a group, from conceptualising the theme to selecting artworks, writing the curatorial statement and press release, and curating and displaying the show in the allocated exhibition space. They also receive practical expertise in the professional handling and installation of artworks.

The exhibition can be viewed until Sunday, 5 May 2024. Oliewenhuis Art Museum can be found at 16 Harry Smith Street in Bloemfontein. It is open to the public from Monday to Friday, operating hours are from 08:00 to 17:00. On Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays, the museum is open from 09:00 to 16:00. Admission is free, and there is secure parking available for visitors at a cost of R10 per car, payable in cash. Wheelchair access is provided through a ramp at the main entrance, and there is also a lift available for access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor.

To obtain further details regarding the opening or exhibition, kindly get in touch with the Museum via phone at 078 968 4300 or email at oliewen@nasmus.co.za.

What is an Art Museum Guide?

An Art Museum Guide is a dedicated and motivated student or recent graduate who is employed by the National Museum, Bloemfontein, to work at Oliewenhuis Art Museum for a fixed-term internship as an Art Museum Guide.

The role of an Art Museum Guide:

The Art Museum Guides at Oliewenhuis Art Museum receive training and practical experience to prepare for future employment in the creative sector. They are responsible for safeguarding all exhibitions and providing information to visitors, assists with education initiatives, addressing questions about the art museum, activities and exhibitions, and leading informative guided tours. Additionally, they assist with a variety of art museum related administrative tasks, exhibitions, projects, events, educational workshops, and activities.

Apply Now
Christ and the other person A series by Father Frans Claerhout

Exhibition:  Christ and the other person, a series by Father Frans Claerhout

Venue:  Annex Gallery, Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Dates:  1 December 2023 – 18 February 2024

Father Frans Claerhout's famous series, Christ and the other person, is currently on exhibition at Oliewenhuis Art Museum, a satellite of the National Museum, Bloemfontein, an agency of the Department of Sport, Art and Culture.

This beautiful series of 25 oil paintings are on display in the Annex at Oliewenhuis Art Museum from 1 December 2023 to 18 February 2024. The series is on permanent loan to Oliewenhuis Art Museum from The Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

Father Frans Claerhout was born in Pitten, Belgium in 1919. After completing his training for priesthood, Claerhout came to South Africa in 1946 and was based in Thaba ‘Nchu (close to Bloemfontein) as Catholic priest and missionary. Claerhout was a founding member of the Bloemfontein Group, and he participated in numerous group exhibitions, and had his first solo exhibition in Johannesburg in 1961. Apart from practicing his own art, he played a significant part in developing local talent, including artists represented in Oliewenhuis Art Museum’s Permanent Collection such as Albert Dasheka, John Tladi, Micheal Mosala and George Ramagaga.

Father Claerhout was a self-taught oil painter with no formal training, but came from an artistic family. He painted mostly people, scenes from around the mission stations where he was based, and religious scenes, using a distinct expressionistic style. He was commissioned to paint several murals at mission stations throughout South Africa, including in Bloemfontein Schweitzer-Reineke, Thaba ‘Nchu, Potchefstroom and Witsieshoek. Claerhout died in 2006 at the age of 87.

Claerhout explained this particular series as follows: "The series of Christ and the other person is a meditation of Christ and People.  What Christ is, cannot be found in research by the human mind. He was HUMAN - with and for man.  I feel I do not know much about him, but what I know and feel, that I like. Faith is to be delightfully underage, expectantly. Christ is the same in all his encounters with people, but each time different.  A Man for all seasons. He stirred the heart of all people and in this series are a few [of these people]. I hope that, with reference to the Gospel text, the 25 paintings will bring us love and growth. The last picture is the secret of faith: Christ alone. Who is the other person, me, you, us? "

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00. A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access for wheel chairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the 1st floor. R10 parking fee will be charged but entrance to the museum is free.

For more information on Oliewenhuis Art Museum please contact the Museum at 078 968 4300 or oliewen@nasmus.co.za. Stay up to date by following Oliewenhuis Art Museum on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for all upcoming exhibitions and events.

Apply Now

Temporary Exhibitions 2023

Moving Forward: Restoration, Unity, Peace

Exhibition: Moving Forward: Restoration, Unity, Peace

Venue:  Main Building, First floor, Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Dates:  1 December 2023 – 4 February 2024

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is commemorating Reconciliation Day with an exhibition of artworks selected from the Oliewenhuis Art Museum Permanent Collection and the Collection of the Art Bank of South Africa. All Oliewenhuis Art Museum and ArtbankSA staff members chose an artwork that personally resonates with their idea of reconciliation. Diverse artworks, expressing varied views and feelings regarding the theme, Moving Forward: Restoration, Unity and Peace, were selected, and created an exhibition that acknowledges the painful past of South Africa, but also shows how we can continue to restore and what unity and peace look like. Many of the artworks explore what we share and what brings us together as human beings.

The exhibition includes an image of the staff member and a short text explaining why they chose the artwork with the aim to create an inclusive environment and give all Oliewenhuis Art Museum and ArtbankSA staff members a voice in the exhibition space. The exhibition was curated by Natley Barnado, Acting Education Officer in collaboration with Ester le Roux, Curator with assistance and input from all other staff members.

The exhibition can be viewed until 3 March 2024. Oliewenhuis Art Museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00. A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access for wheel chairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the 1st floor. R10 parking fee will be charged but entrance to the museum is free.

For additional information contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum at 084 714 9083 or education@nasmus.co.za.

Apply Now
Creatively Contrasted: New views on the Permanent Collection

Exhibition:  Creatively Contrasted:  New views on the Permanent Collection

Venue:  Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Dates:  1 December 2023 – 3 March 2024

Creatively Contrasted: New views on the Permanent Collection is a curated exhibition from the Permanent Collection housed at Oliewenhuis Art Museum, an art museum committed to building a representative collection of South African visual art. Artworks with contrasting aspects such as the oldest and the ‘youngest’ artwork in the collection, were selected to give a fresh perspective on the collection and pay tribute to the incredible richness of South African visual art.

1st Donation and 1st Acquisitions.

Oliewenhuis Art Museum officially opened on 11 October 1989 and the first donation received was Dorte Berner’s, Das Kranke Kind (1981) in 1990, an etching in sepia on paper.

The first artworks were purchased from Gallery 21 in Johannesburg.  These artworks were Norman Catherine’s Ritual (1985), pastel on paper, Eduardo Villa’s Torso (1968) in bronze and Ezrom Legae’s Head of a Wise man (n.d.) in bronze.

Oldest artworks and most recently acquired and created artworks in the collection.

The oldest artworks in the collection are three oil-on-canvas paintings by Thomas Baines. Bloemfontein about 1850, was donated by the Bloemfontein Municipality in 1990. This painting was originally purchased by the City Council in 1958 from Eric Bonner, a bookseller in London. Bloemfontein vanaf Naval Hill 1851, was also donated by the Bloemfontein Municipality. In the background of the painting, a small bag houses a piece of linen on which the words “Bloemfontein the Capital of the Orange River Sovereignty……Ma 23 1851” is featured. Uitsig oor Bloemfontein 1850, was donated to the National Museum, Bloemfontein in 1924 by Mr. Geo Page. This work was painted on a sturdy striped fabric Ticking, which was traditionally used to cover pillows and mattresses, because its tight weave prevented feathers from sticking through the fabric.

Oliewenhuis Art Museum’s most recent acquisitions and recently created artworks include artworks by living legends Mam Noria Mabasa and Dr Esther Mahlangu. Born from Fire, an exceptional sculptural masterpiece by Mam Noria Mabasa, was purchased in 2019 and a painting, Ndebele Abstract by Dr Esther Mahlangu in 2021.

Artworks acquired in the last five years also include paintings by Free State artists, Richard Bollers and Klas Thibeletsa. In 2020, as part of the first Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme funded by the Department of Sport, Art and Culture, three Free State woodcarvers were commissioned to carve two large pieces of dried out Wild Olive Wood in situ at the Sculpture Garden of Oliewenhuis Art Museum. Sefate sa dipale tsa Africa (a tale about an African Tree) was carved by Hartman Magasi, David Molapisi and Moeketsi Bernett Phalatsane. This artwork was officially added to the Permanent Collection in February 2023.

Depictions of artworks by artists and some of their artworks.

While planning the exhibition, we noticed that we have several self-portraits and portraits by artists in the collection of fellow artists. These self-portraits and portraits are displayed alongside related artworks.

Examples of these include Walter Meyer’s oil paintings; Selfportret (2009) and Township Luderitz (2004).

Stefan Ampenberger and his wife Iris Ampenberger befriended the well-known artist Father Frans Claerhout after settling in Tweespruit, close to Bloemfontein. Stefan was a painter of landscapes, while Iris painted people and portraits. On display are four of her portraits, one of Father Frans Claerhout and two of her husband and a self-portrait.

Other contrasting artworks such as the largest and the smallest artwork or out of the ordinary artworks such as artworks created by more than one artist, were also included to encourage visitors to explore and enjoy a bit of South Africa’s rich and varied visual art history and to learn about our heritage.

The exhibition can be viewed until 3 March 2024. Oliewenhuis Art Museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00. A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access for wheel chairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the 1st floor. R10 parking fee will be charged but entrance to the museum is free.

For more information on Oliewenhuis Art Museum please contact the Museum at 078 968 4300 or oliewen@nasmus.co.za. Stay up to date by following Oliewenhuis Art Museum on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for all upcoming exhibitions and events.

Apply Now
The Umabatha series By Lucky Madlo Sibiya and The White Monday Disaster series by Cecil Skotnes

 

Venue:  Oliewenhuis Art Museum (Annex Gallery)

Dates:  26 October 2023 – 26 November 2023

The Umabatha series by Lucky Madlo Sibiya and The White Monday Disaster series by Cecil Skotnes, both from Oliewenhuis Art Museum’s Permanent Collection, can currenlty be viewed in the Annex Gallery on the first floor of Oliewenhuis Art Museum. These exquisite woodcut print series are exhibited together as Lucky Madlo Sibiya was not only influenced, but also taught by Cecil Skotnes, one of the main pioneers of modern art in South Africa. Although each artist’s work has its own individual voice, there are a number of fascinating technical and visual similarities. Both series are narratives based on real life events.

The Umabatha series by Lucky Madlo Sibiya

South African modernist artist Lucky Madlo Sibiya was born in 1942 in Vryheid, Natal and internationally renowned for his abstract paintings and sculptural carvings. The Umabatha series was part of the Pelmama Permanent Art Collection, and was donated to Oliewenhuis Art Museum by the Haenggi Foundation in 2006.

Lucky Sibiya was introduced to Cecil Skotnes by artist Bill Ainslie, which led to Skotnes taking him on as a private pupil. His passion for art was evoked as a child, when he watched his dad, whom was a Sangoma, performing rituals with bones and rocks on the floor. The shapes and patterns of the rocks and bones fascinated him, rather than the ritualistic performance. These traditional images became a visible, prominent element in his art later on. Sibiya always expressed his love for rocks, stones and the earth. He particularly found the colours; the reds and browns of the rocks and earth interesting and was also intrigued by their texture.

In the late 1970s Sibiya became fascinated by Welcome Msomi’s play inspired by Shakespear’s Macbeth, titled Umabatha, which had been adapted to fit the 19th century Zulu history, covering the story of King Shaka and King Dingane. This interpretation could be easily being misunderstood, as Umabatha is not the Zulu version of Macbeth. It portrays historical events based on Shakespear’s Macbeth plot.

Sibiya produced 15 colour woodcuts based on Welcome Msomi’s play. Through the Umabatha series, Sibiya received instant international fame and travelled across the world promoting his work.

The White Monday Disaster series by Cecil Skotnes

Cecil Skotnes collaborated with well-known South African poet, playwright, editor, and novelist, Stephen Gray to create the White Monday Disaster series, which took the form of what the artist called a ‘block book’. By this, Skotnes implied a work in which the content was to be conveyed through prints and words simultaneously. Comprising 13 prints and 13 stanzas in ballad form, this work commemorates the heroic efforts of Wolraad Woltemade, who, on horseback, rescued 14 of the shipwrecked from the ship the Jonge Thomas, when it sank in Table Bay in 1773, before he himself drowned.

Cecil Skotnes was born in East London in 1926. He studied painting and drawing in Florence, Italy after World War II and at the University of the Witwatersrand from 1947 to 1950 on his return to South Africa. Skotnes moved to Cape Town in 1978 where he resumed painting after decades as a print-maker. He died on 4 April 2009 at the age of 82.

Both extraordinary artists form part of the Arts and Culture Curriculum for school learners, thus it is a wonderful educational opportunity. For more information on this exhibition, or to book a guided tour, please contact the Education Officer, Natley Barnardo at Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 084 714 9083 or olwh@nasmus.co.za. The exhibition can be viewed until Sunday, 26 November 2023.

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00. A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access for wheel chairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor. R10 parking fee will be charged but entrance to the museum is free.

 

Apply Now
New Breed Art Competition Exhibition 2023 Oliewenhuis Art Museum (Main Building)



Exhibition: 
New Breed Art Competition Exhibition 2023

Venue:  Oliewenhuis Art Museum (Main Building)

Dates:  12 October - 19 November

Successful first-round judging sets the stage for the 2023 New Breed Art Exhibition 

The first round of judging for the 2023 New Breed Art competition concluded with resounding success, as a total of 34 exceptional artworks were chosen for inclusion in the highly anticipated exhibition starting on 12 October at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum. This year, the competition received a total of 97 entries, reflecting the growing artistic talent within the Free State.

The competition is a proud initiative of PH Attorneys in association with Oliewenhuis Art MuseumThe Free State Art Collective and the Art Bank of South Africa.

The panel of judges, comprising distinguished artists and curators, played an important role in the selection process. Ruzy RusikeNandipha Mntambo, and Isabelle Grobler brought their wealth of experience and discerning eye to this year's judging.

Nandipha Mntambo, one of the esteemed judges, expressed her admiration for the submissions, stating, "A wonderful selection of works submitted. Inspiring to see all the talent our country and more specifically, the Free State has cultivated." This sentiment echoed the collective sentiment of the judging panel, who were impressed by the calibre of entries.

Isabelle Grobler, another of our esteemed judges, also extended her gratitude, remarking, "Thank you to all the artists who submitted work. It's inspiring to see so many different and diverse voices, approaches, and mediums. The Free State is lucky to have a visionary law firm, PH Attorneys, and a group of tenacious young artists producing work and voicing ideas. Keep going, it's much needed! And good luck to those going through to the second round!"

The selected artworks include a diverse range of styles, mediums, and themes, reflecting the rich tapestry of creative voices within our community. From striking installations to drawings and digital art, each chosen piece promises to captivate and inspire visitors to the exhibition.

The public will play an active part in determining one of the competition winners. The Public Choice Award will go to the artist who receives the most online votes on the official art competition website (www.newbreedart.co.za) and will receive R10 000 in prize money. The voting will be open from 12 October with the opening of the exhibition.

Of the rest of the R110 000 in prize money, R50 000 will be awarded to the winner, R20 000 to the Runner-up and R10 000 each to two Merit Award winners, as decided by the judges. For the first time ever, the competition will this year also introduce a brand-new award category for digital art. This award is proudly sponsored by Rooistoel, a multi-media production company from Bloemfontein, specialising in video productions for business growth.

The exhibition can be viewed from 13 October until 19 November. The art museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00. A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access for wheel chairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor. R10 parking fee will be charged but entrance to the museum is free. For more information on Oliewenhuis Art Museum please contact the Museum at 078 968 4300 or oliewen@nasmus.co.za. Stay up to date by following Oliewenhuis Art Museum on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for all upcoming exhibitions and events.

Apply Now
She wears many hats: REGAL, RESILIENT, RADIANT

Exhibition:  She wears many hats: Radiant

Dates: 7 August – 3 September 2023

Venues: Freshford House Museum: She wears many hats: REGAL

National Museum, Bloemfontein: She wears many hats: RESILIENT

Oliewenhuis Art Museum: She wears many hats: RADIANT

In celebration of Women’s month, different Departments of the National Museum, Bloemfontein, collaborated to curate exhibitions that are on show across three museum venues; Freshford House Museum, the National Museum and Oliewenhuis Art Museum. These exhibitions, although having distinctive slants, share similar themes and content, and aim to create fresh and original visual showcases by combining a variety of historical hats with contemporary and classical artworks. This exciting amalgamation of artworks and beautifully made artefacts, curated by three female curators, was mindfully selected from the art collections of the Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Art Bank of South Africa and textiles from the Collections Management and Library Department.

The She wears many hats exhibitions, don’t just literally refer to holding or functioning in more than one position or role, but also reflects on intangible human qualities of being (rather than doing or acting), such as being regal, being resilient and being radiant. The artworks and artefacts, representing the female in various ways, shows both the physical and exterior as well as the abstract and inner qualities associated with the female and the feminine.

They say you could tell what was on her mind by what was on her head” (unknown source).

At Freshford House Museum hats from different eras (1880-1970) along with a small selection of artwork are on show. The artwork and hats were handpicked to celebrate the multifaceted woman but also the beauty and uniqueness of womanhood. The exhibition intends to salute women who effortlessly switch between the various roles they fulfil in society. A woman with many hats symbolises modern women’s refusal to be caged by societal expectations and norms.  We would like to once more inspire women to break boundaries, pursue their dreams and embrace the beauty of being a woman.

 “If you like the hat, wear it…” (unknown source).

The exhibition at Oliewenhuis Art Museum aims to be a pleasurable and inspiring sensory experience, evoking feelings of lightheartedness, playfulness, sweetness, with a touch of melancholy.

Artworks were chosen intuitively by how closely it resonates with, and expresses both physically and ambiently the concept of radiance- females and things and nature being radiant. It is interesting how the concept unfolds - ideologies of feminine radiance are suddenly an encompassing, universal presence, even Mother Nature gifts us with radiance, beauty and energy.

Artworks and artefacts, visually describing and radiating a feminine presence of softness, resilience, strength, beauty, flow and feeling were included to celebrate the lighter side of the feminine. Hopefully this exhibition inspires all participants to internally integrate and outwardly express this beautiful energy of intuition, creativity and compassion, to ease the hardships and alleviate the heavy burdens that is part of life.

“Do the things that interest you and do them with all your heart. Don't be concerned about whether people are watching you or criticizing you. The chances are that they aren't paying any attention to you. It's your attention to yourself that is so stultifying. But you have to disregard yourself as completely as possible. If you fail the first time then you'll just have to try harder the second time. After all, there's no real reason why you should fail.”  

― Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life

 The exhibition at the National Museum hones in on the amazing ability of women to recover not only quickly but coming back in a healthier way with a better perspective from hardships of life. The resilience to somehow dive deep into themselves to overcome, drive in your own doubt, fear and insecurity, to become unstoppable.

The contemplative artworks selected explore the ways women find and create meaning in their life through identity, community, love and experiencing life.

Freshford House Museum is located at 31 Kellner Street, Westdene, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 9:00 and 16:00, Saturdays between 10:00 and 15:00, and closed on Sundays and public holidays. The National Museum, Bloemfontein is located at 36 Aliwal Street, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 8:00 and 17:00, Saturdays between 10:00 and 15:00, and closed on Sundays and public holidays.

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00.

For more information on Oliewenhuis Art Museum please contact the Museum at 051 011 0525 (ext 200), 078 968 4300 or oliewen@nasmus.co.za and for more information on Freshford House Museum and the National Museum, Bloemfontein please visit www.nasmus.co.za.

To find out more about the Art Bank of South Africa please visit www.artbanksa.org.

Apply Now
Learning through art: The Museum as classroom

Exhibition: Learning through art: The Museum as classroom

A Visual Arts curriculum-based exhibition curated from Oliewenhuis Art Museum's Permanent Collection, complimented by artwork loans courtesy of Sanlam Art Collection.

Dates: 23 June - 20 August 2023

Exhibition opening: 11 July 2023 at 18:00

Venue: Oliewenhuis Art Museum (Main Building)

Learning through art: The Museum as classroom was curated with a special focus on the Grade 10 – 12 Visual Arts curriculums. Artworks were handpicked to optimise the learning experience for learners, and they now have the luxury to view artworks that are discussed in the classroom, not only see it in the handbook. The art museum is now the classroom, accessible for teachers and learners to view engage and analyse these artworks.

This exhibition speaks to a larger audience than just Grade 10-12 learners as it also gives the general public an opportunity to enjoy and experience excellent art as it is a visual celebration of South African artworks that is rarely on show.

The exhibition presents early genres of South African art like the work of J.H Pierneef, Irma Stern and Alexis Preller. Socio-political art, including Resistance Art, is represented by earlier artworks created by Julian Motau and Dumeli Feni and later artworks of the 1960’s to the 1970’s to the 1980’s by Manfred Zylla, Willie Bester and George Pemba. Another genre that is covered is arts and craft and spirituality, seen in the extraordinary works of Noria Mabasa, John Maufangejo, Johannes Maswangayi and Gladys Mgudlandlu. A special focus is given to artists responding to post- 1994 democratic identity issues, as seen in the extraordinary work of the Avant Car Guard visual art collective, Diane Victor and William Kentridge. Artworks by Wim Botha, Sam Nhlengethwa and Norman Catherine are included as it questions history through a contemporary lens. Themes located in identity, gender and a collapsed value system are questioned and interrogated in the works of Conrad Botes, Anton Kannemeyer and Paul Emmanuel, Penny Siopis, Nomusa Makhubu and Leora Farber.

This is a visually stimulating display from the Permanent Collection of Oliewenhuis Art Museum and artworks borrowed from the exceptional Sanlam Art Collection. This annual exhibition is curated to both bring enjoyment to viewers and to educate on important genres in South African art history.

Please book a free guided tour for yourself, your learners or a group of friends. For more information contact us on olwh@nasmus.co.za or yolanda@nasmus.co.za.

Apply Now
Let there be light: In Plain Sight

Exhibition:  Let there be light: In Plain Sight

Venue:  Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein 

Dates:  30 June – 23 July 2023

Opening: Tuesday, 11 July 2023 at 18:00

In a world full of adversity and uncertainty, everything is in plain sight for everyone to see.

Let there be light: In plain sight, employs the analogy of sight and light by drawing inspiration from colourful composite abstract artworks from Oliewenhuis Art Museum’s Permanent Collection and the Art Bank of South Africa’s Contemporary Art Collection in an attempt to engage all visitors, to see art for what it is. As sight is synonymous with light and colour, what better way to reflect on the complexities of life than through the lens of abstract composite imagery as seen in the selected works?

Without negating the meaning abstract artworks have, Let there be light: In Plain Sight, is about form, color, line, texture, pattern, composition as well as the creative processes. These are the formal qualities of art making, because they describe what the art looks like and how it is created. Abstract art is an exploration of these formal qualities and meaning is derived from how these formal qualities are used to create a visual experience.

Considering the intricacies of color and light, creating and interpreting abstract art does not come naturally to everyone and is not easy to grasp, unlike more traditional still-life artworks, portraits, and other forms of representational art; however, in a moment of hopelessness and bewilderment, non-representational art becomes the "bright color for us to explore and play with."

Let there be light: In Plain Sight is mediated around Stanley Pinker's painting titled: Modern Madonna from the Oliewenhuis Art Museum’s Permanent Art Collection. This artwork reveals the influence of impressionism, cubism, and futurism in artistic approach. This particular painting vividly captures the essence and concept of ‘color and light’ remarkably in that it wittily uses different hues, hermeneutic symbols and allegories to comment on various socio-political complexities inherent in the world.

Pinker’s artwork is used as an entry point to include other complimentary non-representational artworks artifacts that find expression in and carry similar underlying thematic and aesthetic language around abstract art. Let there be light: In Plain Sight takes an abstract curatorial approach by implicitly showcasing the most recent socio-political events and their aftermath.

As we occasionally wonder, laugh, and even cry about what life presents us; Let there be light: In Plain Sight subtly entices you to the oeuvres d'art that grapples with the politics of non-representational and abstract art.

Sepadi Moruthane is a passionate museum practitioner who is active in the arts and its current inroads. As a museum practitioner, he has developed an interest in acquiring understanding and knowledge about the creative industries. 

He is an MPhil graduate from the University of Cape Town and his dissertation focused on the Digital Classification of “unknown maker(s)” of cultural artefacts / a case study of Iziko (ISANG) Permanent Art Collection. He has also obtained his post-graduate Diploma in the arts, Culture, and Heritage Management from WITS University and completed his Fine Art undergrad with Ecole cantonale d’art du Valais (ECAV) in Switzerland. 

He held a range of positions at various heritage institutions such as the Hector Pieterson Memorial Museum, Iziko National Museum and the William Humphreys Art Gallery in Kimberley. Sepadi was appointed as Art Collection Manager at Oliewenhuis Art Museum in July 2022.

More information on Oliewenhuis Art Museum a Permanent Art Collection

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is an Art Museum which holds in trust an historical and contemporary art collection of South African art on behalf of the people of South Africa. We aim to enrich the people’s knowledge, understanding and appreciation of our cultural heritage, to reflect its full diversity, to provide a cultural and educational resource, to encourage involvement in the visual arts and nurture a culturally diverse but shared national identity.

Apply Now
This is us: Celebrating 29 Years of Freedom

Exhibition: This is us: Celebrating 29 Years of Freedom

Dates: 26 April - 30 July 2023

Venue: Oliewenhuis Art Museum (Reservoir)

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is excited to host This is us, an exhibition of the Art Bank of South Africa (ArtbankSA) dedicated to the working class, to those who have fought for democracy and restoration of human dignity and for those who face imprisonment by poverty.

Featuring artworks from the ArtbankSA Contemporary Art Collection the exhibition aims to spotlight the mundane lives of South Africans, mothers, fathers, children, and workers.

Victims of a capitalist world bent on keeping the poor, poor; families and individuals struggle to barely meet their basic needs trapped in debt bondage and forced labor.

As a resilient society we are reminded of our strengths and capabilities on national days as we commemorate Freedom Day on 27 April 2023 and Worker’s Day on 1 May 2023 and are reminded of those who fought, struggled greatly under oppression, and gave their lives for a greater cause. We are inspired to aspire to lead and fight for a better life for those who are in desperate need. We are reminded to be compassionate towards one another and lastly, we are reminded of how far South Africa has come.  

The Art Bank of South Africa is a national programme of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture as part of the Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) strategy implementation and is hosted by the National Museum Bloemfontein, an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture. The vision of the Art Bank is to promote, foster and stimulate a vibrant market for the collection of South African contemporary visual art.

The Art Bank of South Africa is tasked with purchasing artworks from South African artists, particularly that of emerging artists in order to lease and sell the artworks to South African government departments, private companies and private individuals.

The Art Bank of South Africa’s Mission is to:

  • Curate a definitive collection of contemporary South African visual art.
  • Promote financial sustainability for the artists and Art Bank of South Africa through the leasing of art.     
  • Nurture emerging South African artists by expanding the market for their work and providing skills development opportunities.    
  • Foster an appreciation for contemporary art by making art accessible to the broader public in their workplaces and shared spaces.

This is us: Celebrating 29 Years of Freedom can be viewed until 30 July 2023 in the Reservoir at Oliewenhuis Art Museum. The art museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00. Entrance is free and secure parking is available for visitors at R10 per vehicle (cash only). A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access for wheel chairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor.

For more information please contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 051 011 0525 (ext 200) or oliewen@nasmus.co.za.  Stay up to date by following Oliewenhuis Art Museum on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for all upcoming exhibitions and events. For more information on the Art Bank of South Africa, please contact Nathi Gumede on 051 447 9609 (ext 121) or nathi@artbanksa.org.

 

Apply Now
Breath. Body. Art: Museums, Sustainability and Well-Being

Exhibition:  Breath. Body. Art: Museums, Sustainability and Well-Being

Venue:  Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Dates:  12 May - 25 June 2023

Come and view a special exhibition curated in celebration of International Museum Day 2023, titled Breath. Body. Art: Museums, Sustainability and Well-Being from 12 May until 25 June 2023 at Oliewenhuis Art Museum. Artworks in this exhibition were selected from Oliewenhuis Art Museum’s Permanent Collection and the Art Bank of South Africa’s Contemporary Art Collection.

Oliewenhuis Art museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00. R10 parking fee will be charged but entrance to the museum is free. A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access for wheel chairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor.

Apply Now
Transition • Liminality • Adaptation

Exhibition: transition • liminality • adaptation

Dates: 16 March 2023 – 1 May 2023

Venue: Oliewenhuis Art Museum (Annex Gallery)

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is excited to present the annual Art Museum Guide exhibition with artworks sourced from Oliewenhuis Art Museum’s Permanent Collection and The Art Bank of South Africa’s Contemporary Collection. transition • liminality • adaptation was curated by the current 2022/2023 Art Museum Guides at Oliewenhuis Art Museum; Kgahliso Kau, Xola Brilliant Sello, Jacobeth Selinga, Siobhan Swart and the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP3) Work-Based Experience Programme Interns; Hlompho Dimpho Shale and Natley Barnardo.

The curators, all close to graduating or recent graduates in visual arts, curated the exhibition with the purpose of raising questions within the notions of the art industry. They explain: ‘As ‘young emerging artists’, we often find ourselves questioning what it means to become successful artists, and whether this means limiting our originality and creativity for the purpose of acknowledgement and acceptance in the visual art industry.’  This exhibition explores and challenges the barrier that separates ingenuity and conformity.  A variety of artworks, with diverse use of media and conceptual ideas, artistically expressed by both emerging and established artists are juxtaposed with each other.

As a starting point for selecting artworks, the curators envisioned an organic, mixed media installation, titled: The Wall, including sketches and paintings in various media, photos, text and pre-sketches, that they’ve created over a period of time. The Wall serves as an anchor point for this exhibition, as it seems to be out of place and a bit distorted, but also becoming part of the exhibition and exhibition space – a space that generally serves to only showcase finished, ‘museum quality’ artworks, created by established artists. The curatorial style of the wall is an informal mixture representing both the traditional ‘white cube’ style of display and the studio space, where the process of creating artworks take place - often a seemingly chaotic space with artworks in various phases of planning and completion.  This allows the viewer to identify the themes of adaptation, where the artworks are ‘trying to fit’ into a system but on the other hand, through the distorted, organic installation, attempting to simultaneously transform the artworks into their own authentic piece.  As a result of this conflicting position artists (along with their artworks) place themselves in, they often find themselves in a state of liminality.

Themes such as identity, spirituality, mental health, the macabre, humour and satire can be found on The Wall. Artworks were selected by how they relate to these themes. Viewers are not only made aware of corresponding themes, styles and mediums between artworks in the exhibition space and of those on The Wall, but also differences such as the curatorial styles and the unfamiliar artist names. As a result of this, one could become aware of the influence of the visual art industry and the ways in which artists have to compromise between conformity and individuality in order to become successful artists.

transition • liminality • adaptation can be viewed from 16 March 2023 until 1 May 2023 in the Annex Gallery on the first floor of the Main Building at Oliewenhuis Art Museum. The art museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00. For more information please contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 051 011 0525 (ext 200) or oliewen@nasmus.co.za.  Stay up to date by following Oliewenhuis Art Museum on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for all upcoming exhibitions and events.

Apply Now

Temporary Exhibitions 2022

BETWEEN MEANING AND REALITY: The Art Bank of South Africa 2022 New Acquisitions

Exhibition:  BETWEEN MEANING AND REALITY: The Art Bank of South Africa 2022 New Acquisition Exhibition

Venue:  Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Dates:  30 March – 4 June 2023

“Living is keeping the absurd alive. Keeping it alive is above all contemplating it” – Albert Camus

The annual Free State exhibition of the Art Bank of South Africa (ArtbankSA) that showcases the best of South African contemporary art by emerging artists. Exploring the meaning of life and the things we value, the exhibition will feature artworks selected and purchased from the 2022 submission window by the ArtbankSA. 

ArtbankSA is a national programme of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture as part of the Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) strategy implementation and is hosted by the National Museum Bloemfontein, an agency of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture. Its vision is to promote, foster and stimulate a vibrant market for the collection of South African contemporary visual art through the lease and sell of artworks to South African government departments, private companies and private individuals. Visit www.artbanksa.org for more information.

The exhibition can be viewed until 4 June 2023 at Oliewenhuis Art Museum. The art museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00. A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access for wheel chairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor.

For more information please contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 051 011 0525 (ext 200) or oliewen@nasmus.co.za.

Apply Now
Never-ending secrets and untold stories: The embodiment of women in war

Exhibition:  Never-ending secrets and untold stories: The embodiment of women in war

Venue:  Main Building, Annex gallery at Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Dates:  25 November 2022 – 26 February 2023

Oliewenhuis Art Museum cordially invites the public to view the outstanding exhibition, Never-ending secrets and untold stories: The embodiment of women in war. This exhibition was curated from the collections of Oliewenhuis Art Museum, The War Museum of the Boer Republics and Artbank South Africa.

This specific exhibition was curated in collaboration with the War Museum of the Boer Republics to compliment an International Hybrid Conference, hosted at the museum in Bloemfontein, South Africa and online from 24 – 25 November 2022. The title of the conference was, The Unsung Heroines and Youth of South Africa, Violent Histories and Experiences of South African Women and Children during Wars, Conflicts and Pandemics. Importantly it also responds to and coincides with the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children from 25 November to 10 December 2022.

Themes of the trauma, suffering, strength and survival of women during the South African War (also referred to as the Anglo-Boer War from 1899 – 1902) are explored, and the exhibition also engages with the current war women are facing due to extent of Gender Based Violence.

The purpose of this exhibition is to serve as a reminder and to create a platform to explore new and unanswered questions based on the injustices of the past and present - with the focus on women and children along with the biases that have and still take place under the subjects of race and sexuality and suppression.

The complex notions that arrive with the themes of memory and storytelling are unpacked in this exhibition by exploring violent historical and current events:  the South African War and current war women are facing due to the extent of Gender Based Violence.

The exhibition is curated with the intention of portraying a narrative of our time. It allows us access to uncovering the vital moments of those that have been overlooked during cries of help and invites us to glance at the innermost portrayals of people’s lives. Simultaneously, promoting the strength of women of the past and the present. It serves to encourage a thought-provoking experience that could hopefully lead to discussions with insightful outcomes.

Apply Now
VIRAL IMAGES A solo exhibition by Johandi du Plessis

 

Exhibition:  VIRAL IMAGES, a solo exhibition by Johandi du Plessis

Venue:  Main Building, Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Dates:  24 November 2022 – 12 February 2023

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is excited to showcase VIRAL IMAGES, a solo exhibition by emerging conceptual artist and researcher, Johandi du Plessis, from 24 November 2022 to 12 February 2023. Du Plessis is a Bloemfontein-based artist in the Free State, South Africa. She teaches at the Fine Arts Department at the University of the Free State, in various mediums such as drawing, painting, sculpture and installation and digital-based art. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in 2014 at the same institution. Du Plessis has participated in over forty local and international exhibitions, including the prestigious art competition Sasol New Signatures (2021, 2019, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2013), the Absa l’ Atelier, and most recently in NIROX Sculpture Park’s ‘Good Neighbours’ exhibition. In 2016 she was selected as one of fourteen of South Africa’s most promising emerging artists to partake in the experimental and interdisciplinary OPENLab Arts Residency (held at MAPSA in Richmond in the Northern Cape). She is recipient of a grant from the Claire and Eduardo Villa Will Trust, and her artworks are held in the DAC and MAPSA collections.

Du Plessis presents a portfolio of artworks that beckons questions about the nature and characteristics of images, as they are hosted in a variety of artistic media. The artworks comprise various media, genres, and modes, pointing to the ultimately unpredictable, generative, and playful, viral potential of images – questioning the idea that images can be fully managed or controlled. Several artworks engage with the idea of social imaginaries, that is, the many ways in which we imagine ourselves through the images or ideas we carry within our bodies, and the many ways we express them in pictures, stories, and legends. The artist observes how images influence the ways in which we imagine ourselves to be in time and place. Since images migrate among various objects, places, and social domains, they cut through and reveal our relationship(s) with society's economic, cultural, political, and psychological fibres.

Du Plessis believes that nostalgic and humorous image clashes she observes in post-apartheid South Africa reveal collective intergenerational trauma, anxiety, and diverse experiences of loss. Some artworks, comparable to memes, respond to the way in which nostalgia and humour are employed to mitigate anxiety, loss, and desire. Topical viral events are explored, and some artworks result from a continued fascination with and interrogation of images and their spread throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the online/offline experiences during lockdown.

 

Apply Now
Azibuyele Emasisweni (Return to the Source) Solo-exhibition by Pitika Ntuli

Exhibition:  Azibuyele Emasisweni (Return to the Source) - Solo-exhibition by Pitika Ntuli

Venue:  Oliewenhuis Art Museum

Dates:  5 October - 5 December 2022

Few online exhibitions grabbed attention during the height of Covid. Pitika Ntuli’s Azibuyele Emasisweni, (Return to the Source) stood out, for not only had the eighty-year-old artist produced 45 new sculptures from bones and other materials, but in relaying their full significance, some of the country's most esteemed poets and musicians responded to the body of work with songs and poems. This made for an incredible online programme, however, as with all art, the works are best enjoyed in person. A national tour of Ntuli’s Azibuyele Emasisweni, which will show at Oliewenhuis Art Museum and then the Durban Art Gallery from October, will give the public a chance to appreciate these extraordinary works up close.   

Azibuyele Emasisweni, (Return to the Source) was first opened at the National Arts Festival in June 2020 by Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations. It was part of the main programme of this arts festival and challenged fixed definitions of ‘contemporary’ and ‘traditional art’. The exhibition was curated by Ruzy Rusike.

As a Sangoma it is no surprise Ntuli turned to animal bones as the medium, for this body of work - 45 bone sculptures all paired with praise songs. This makes for an unexpected contemporary art exhibition; African spiritualism and contemporary art are rarely bedfellows and his use of animal bones (elephant, rhino, giraffe and horses), which are gently coaxed into anthropomorphic shaped sculptures make for striking works.

Using the approach of a Sangoma, by allowing the material to guide him, Ntuli invokes ancient African indigenous and spiritual knowledge systems, which he believes can ‘treat’ contemporary problems.

Ntuli has been circling pertinent socio-political issues as an academic, writer, activist and teacher but as the title of the exhibition suggests, he is returning to ‘the source’ of expression. In turn, he is encouraging society to return to the ‘source’ of African spiritualism and knowledge as the means of resolving corruption, greed and poverty. Above all, the bone sculptures –a result of Ntuli teasing out human features from the animal skeletons – articulate his desire for humankind to reconnect with nature. 

“I do not copy nor work like nature. I work with nature! Bones are vital, as in imbued with life, and it this life that they possess that possesses me when I work. We are partners. Bones, like wood, have definite forms to work with. I do not oppose their internal and external directions, I externalise their inherent shapes to capture the beauty and the truth embedded in them, in other words I empower the bones to attain their own ideal,” observes Ntuli.

The works were so inspiring that musicians, poets, writers and thought leaders such as  Sibongile Khumalo, Zolani Mahola, Simphiwe Dana, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Gcina Mhlope to Ngugi wa Thiongo, Homi Bhabha, Albie Sachs, Shado Twala and Ari Sitas and  many others contributed songs, words and discussions for the exhibition’s online debut. 

This flurry of ‘artistic replies’ substantiated the impact of Ntuli’s sculptures and their poetic qualities. Ntuli attributes this to his main medium – bones, which are highly evocative. 

“Bones have a special potency and subtle spiritual energies; their endurance is legendary. We know who we are, and where we come from as a result of studying bone fossils. Bones are the evidence that we were alive 3.5 million years ago, and they are carriers of our memories,” says Ntuli.

Azibuyele Emasisweni doesn’t only lead the viewer back in time but through a unique and original use of material, form and symbolism reflects on the spiritual wasteland that might define this era, thereby collapsing those hard lines that were thought to divide ancient and contemporary concerns and art.  

Azibuyele Emasisweni will open at Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein at 17:30 for 18:00 on Tuesday, 4 October 2022 and will be show until Sunday, 4 December 2022. A walkabout of the exhibition will be conducted by the artist at 12:00 on Wednesday, 5 October 2022. Oliewenhuis Art Museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00. Entrance is free and secure parking is available for visitors. The exhibition can be viewed on www.themelrosegallery.com 

 

Apply Now
Ke Liha Pene A tribute to Samuele Makoanyane

Exhibition:  Ke Liha Pene - a tribute to Samuele Makoanyane

Venue:  Oliewenhuis Art Museum (Annex Gallery)

Dates:  4 October - 20 November 2022

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is proud to announce the showcasing of a new temporary exhibition, Ke Liha Pene - a tribute to Samuele Makoanyane, which focuses on the small clay warrior figurines made by Samuele Makoanyane (1909-1944) between the late 1930s and early 1940s. Samuele was born in Parys, Free State province, but he lived and worked at the village of Koalabata, in the Teyateyaneng district of Lesotho. He is renowned for making about 250 warrior figurines that resemble his great grandfather, Joshua Nao Makoanyane, a commanding general in King Moshoeshoe’s army. He also made 150 in the image of King Moshoeshoe.

Samuele was a self-taught artist who began his career at an early age making clay models of animals and then ventured into making human figurines. His friend, agent and biographer, C G Damant, encouraged him to focus on depicting his own people. He created various figurines that included men and women going on with their daily activities (e.g. women carrying pots or breastfeeding babies), musicians playing traditional instruments etc. The figurines of musicians, which are now part of the Kirby Collection at the College of Music in Cape Town, were made for Professor Percival Kirby in the 1930s. Prof Kirby had commissioned Makoanyane to create eight figurines of Basotho musicians playing traditional musical instruments, but Samuele only managed to make seven.

Each figurine is finely made and most feature important Basotho national symbols such as the blankets and hats. The warriors are depicted in their regalia (headdresses, copper gorget and etc) carrying weapons (shield, spear, battle axe), while the musicians are playing various instruments. The sizes of the figurines range from about 8 to 18 cm in height, a recommendation made by Damant after Makoanyane’s bigger sculptures became difficult to transport and handle. Most of his work was sold through trading stores in Lesotho and South Africa. It is also found in the collections at the Iziko Museums of South Africa, Museum Africa in Johannesburg, the Duggan-Cronin Gallery in Kimberley, the East London Museum, Killie Campbell Museum in Durban and the National Museum in Bloemfontein.

The exhibition will comprise of warrior sculptures on loan from various institutions as well as the regalia and weapons commonly associated with Basotho warriors, particularly his great grandfather. This includes the headdress (sekola), a copper gorget (khau), stabbing assegai/ spear (lerumo), great plume (mokhele), shield (thebe), battle axe (koakoa) and etc. It will be curated by Steven Sack, who first came across Makoanyane’s work in 1988 when he curated the exhibition “The Neglected Tradition: Towards a New History of South African Art 1930-1988” at the Johannesburg Art Gallery. Steven has been fascinated by the artist ever since. Steven mentions that the “exhibition involves the rethinking of the Makoanyane collections in public institutions, as they migrate from social history collections and museums into the discursive space of the art museum - and thus the recognition of Samuele Makoanyane as an artist”. 

Oliewenhuis Art Museum cordially invites the public to attend the opening and walkabout of Ke Liha Pene - a tribute to Samuele Makoanyane. Attendance to both events are free. The opening will take place at 17:30 for 18:00 on Tuesday, 4 October 2022 and Steven Sack will conduct the walkabout of the exhibition at 11:00 on Wednesday, 5 October 2022.

Ke Liha Pene - a tribute to Samuele Makoanyane can be viewed from 4 October until 20 November 2022 in the Annex Gallery at Oliewenhuis Art Museum. The art museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00. Entrance is free and secure parking is available for visitors. A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access for wheel chairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor.

For more information please contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 051 011 0525 (ext 200) or oliewen@nasmus.co.za.

References

https://www.sahistory.org.za/people/samuel-makoanyane (Access 19/09/2022)

https://www.iziko.org.za/news/samuele-makoanyanes-sculptures-new-virtual-exhibition/ (Access 20/09/22)

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-09-22-conversations-through-time-spotlight-on-the-work-of-lesotho-artist-samuele-makoanyane/ (Accessed 21/09/22)

https://www.newframe.com/makoanyanes-historic-figurines-made-digital/ (Accessed 21/09/22)

Apply Now
New Breed Art Competition Exhibition 2022 A total of 27 artworks by 24 upcoming Free State artists will be showcased

 

Exhibition:  New Breed Art Competition Exhibition 2022

Venue:  Oliewenhuis Art Museum (Main Building)

Dates:  4 October - 20 November 2022

A total of 27 artworks by 24 upcoming Free State artists will be showcased as part of the New Breed Art Competition Exhibition at Oliewenhuis Art Museum in Bloemfontein.

Now in its sixth year, the competition is presented by Phatshoane Henney Attorneys in association with Oliewenhuis Art Museum, the Art Bank of South Africa and the Free State Art Collective. This year’s competition exhibition also forms parts of the Vrystaat Arts Festival (Vryfees).

A variety of paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, mixed media, as well as digital media artworks for the first time this year, are on show from 4 October to 13 November 2022.

The public will play an active part in determining one of the five competition winners. The Public Choice Award will go to the artist who receives the most online votes on the official art competition website (www.newbreedart.co.za) and will receive R10 000 in prize money.

Of the rest of the R100 000 in prize money, R50 000 will be awarded to the winner, R20 000 to the Runner-up and R10 000 each to two Merit Award winners, as decided by the judges.

The winners will be announced on the 3rd of November 2022.

 

Apply Now
ALL THE THINGS SHE SAID: A mile in her shoes and other stories

ALL THE THINGS SHE SAID: A mile in her shoes and other stories

 Venues & dates:

05 August – 11 September 2022

Oliewenhuis Art Museum (Annex Gallery)

16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Tel: 051 011 0524 (ext 200)

05 August – 11 September 2022

National Museum, Bloemfontein

36 Aliwal St, Bloemfontein

Tel: 051 447 9609

05 August – 20 August 2022

Freshford House Museum

31 Kellner St, Bloemfontein

Tel: 051 430 0902

Departments of the National Museum, Bloemfontein, collaborated to curate exhibitions that are on show across three museum venues; National Museum, Freshford House Museum and Oliewenhuis Art Museum in celebration of Women’s month.

These exhibitions, reflecting on women’s lived experiences and their struggle for equality, is an exciting amalgamation of artworks, artefacts and textiles mindfully selected from the art collections of the Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Art Bank of South Africa and textiles from the Collections Management and Library Department.

 

Apply Now
Learning through art: The Museum as classroom A Visual Arts curriculum-based exhibition curated from Oliewenhuis Art Museum's Permanent Collection, complimented by artwork loans courtesy of William Humphreys Art Gallery, Kimberley.

Exhibition: Learning through art: The Museum as classroom

A Visual Arts curriculum-based exhibition curated from Oliewenhuis Art Museum's Permanent Collection, complimented by artwork loans courtesy of William Humphreys Art Gallery, Kimberley.

Venue:  Main Building, Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Dates:  30 June 2022 – 21 August 2022

Learning through art: The Museum as classroom is an exhibition with a special focus on the Grade 10 – 12 Visual Art curriculums. Artworks were handpicked to optimise the learning experience for the learners and they now have the luxury to view works that are discussed in the classroom, not only see it in the handbook. The Museum is now the classroom, available for teachers and learners to view, engage with and analyse these artworks.

This exhibition speaks to a larger audience than just Grade 10-12 learners as it will also be beneficial to any person that is interested to learn more about art. It is a visual celebration of South African artworks that is rarely on show.

The exhibition shows early genres of South African art like the work of J.H. Pierneef, Irma Stern and Alexis Preller. Socio-political art, including Resistance Art, is represented by earlier artworks created by Julian Motau and Dumeli Feni and later artworks of the 1960’s to the 1970’s to the 1980’s by Manfred Zylla, Willie Bester and Helen Sebidi. Another genre that is covered is art and craft and spirituality, seen in the extraordinary works of Noria Mabasa, John Maufangejo, Johannes Maswangayi and Gladys Mgudlandlu. A special focus is  given to artists responding to post- 1994 democratic identity issues as seen in the work of Johannes Phokela and William Kentridge and artists that question and comment on the harsh reality of gender-based violence and a collapsed value system, such as  Conrad Botes and Anton Kannemeyer. Both these artists address white male identity in a post apartheid South Africa. Gender will be focal point with an array of celebrated female South African artists such as Penny Siopis, Nomusa Makhubu and Diane Victor.

This is visual stimulating display from the Permanent Collection of Oliewenhuis Art Museum and artworks borrowed from the fantastic Permanent Collection of William Humphreys Art Gallery and ArtbankSA, was curated to both bring enjoyment to the viewer and to simultaneously educate on important genres in South African art history.

This exhibition will be opened by Hilda Faber, Visual Arts teacher at St Michaels School at 19:00 on Tursday, 30 June 2022. Refreshments will be served.

Learning through art: The Museum as classroom can be viewed until 21 August 2022 at Oliewenhuis Art Museum. The art museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00. Entrance is free and secure parking is available for visitors. A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access for wheel chairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor.

Please book a free guided tour for yourself, your learners or a group of friends. For more information contact us on olwh@nasmus.co.za or call Oliewenhuis Art Museum at 051 0110 525 (ext 200).

Apply Now
Freedom from… Freedom to… Freedom to be… A thought provoking photographic exhibition is curated from Oliewenhuis Art Museum and ArtbankSA’s collections

Exhibition:  Freedom from… Freedom to… Freedom to be…

Venue:  Annex Gallery, Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Dates:  27 April – 03 July 2022

Opening: 11:00 on Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Freedom from…Freedom to….Freedom to be… is a thought provoking photographic exhibition is curated from Oliewenhuis Art Museum and ArtbankSA’s collections.  The exhibition features historical and contemporary moments as seen through the lens of some of South Africa’s most esteemed photographers.

The artworks for this exhibition were selected specifically to commemorate a pivotal moment in South Africa’s history: the first non-racial democratic elections of 1994. Since 1994 all South Africans have benefitted from the freedom of existence, to receive education and to experiment social equality: luxuries that were not accessible to all South Africans under the brutal ruling of apartheid. This year we celebrate 28 years of freedom in a post-apartheid, democratised South Africa. We have become liberated.

The aim of this captivating exhibition is to celebrate, and to some extent interrogate, different ideologies relating to the idea of being free. The exhibition presents different subcategories to underscore the overarching theme of freedom, and also looks through a broader lens, where the photography might show some contested concepts that might visually seem opposing to the concept of being free.

Freedom from…Freedom to….Freedom to be… is thus an amalgamation of photographic moments of younger contemporary photographers such as Nomusa Musah Mtsali, Lebo Thoka, Antonia Steyn, Lithemba Mpambani and Thalente Khomo. These photographers boldly express their freedom: the freedom of choice, the freedom of gender equality and the freedom to be, andthe freedom to question society.

The mid-career artists represented in the exhibition look at the subject matter, or the captured historical moment, with the aim to dissect painful moments for reflection and discussion., Works of Jürgen Schadeburg, Christo Doherthy, David Goldblatt, Cedric Nunn, Mikhael Subotzky and Paul Emmanuel show a different side of freedom by incorporating historical moments in performative, documentary ways with the aim to convey narratives. They portray these diverse narratives through the use of images of war, war sites, security measures, gender andidentity.

This striking exhibition is on view until 3 July 2022 in the Annex Gallery at Oliewenhuis Art Museum. The art museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00. Entrance is free and secure parking is available for visitors. A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access for wheel chairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor. Please don’t miss out on this opportunity to view this exhibition. For any enquiries or more information please contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 051 011 0525 (ext 200) or oliewen@nasmus.co.za.

Follow the link below to read an article written to complement the exhibition:

https://nationalmuseumpublications.co.za/freedom-from-freedom-to-freedom-to-be-an-article-to-compliment-this-exhibition-commemorating-freedom-month-2022/

 
Apply Now
Hands Up Collection An exhibition by the South African Quilters' Guild (SAQG) Teachers' Forum

Exhibition:  Hands Up Collection, an exhibition by the South African Quilters' Guild (SAQG) Teachers' Forum

Venue:  Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Dates:  7 April - 22 May 2022

Never has there been a time when hands were so important - clean hands, but not touching hands; yet open hands, caring hands, praying hands, giving hands...

In July 2020 the South African Quilters' Guild (SAQG) quilt teachers who are members of the SAQG Teachers' Forum, were invited to show their hands by participating in the SAQG Teachers' Forum - Hands Up Collection. This was an effort to lift the spirits of the quilt teachers who haven't been able to honour their teaching commitments and/or earn an income for many months.

The title, Hands Up Collection, suggests: Include me, I am in, I am still here, I will make it, I volunteer, I still am..! This show of hands has the aim of symbolizing the quilt teachers' community and solidarity with each other, their diversity, their creativity and what the SAQG quilt teachers can offer!

Each teacher was asked to make a 25cm quilted block, using their own hand print/shape and or outline, in their preferred/chosen technique or style, to be part of the collection.

The Hands Up Collection blocks were put together in six books suitable for travel, and will be passed from hand to hand, to visit guilds, groups and galleries around South Africa in 2021, keeping in touch all the way until they can physically meet again at the Diversity National Quilt Festival in 2022.

"We cannot go backward. We cannot erase time and events. But we can go forward, hand in hand, with hope in our hearts and love lighting our way." Sharon Shin

The South African Quilters' Guild was founded in 1989 at the 3rd National Quilt Festival held in Bloemfontein and has been the co-ordinating body of quilting in South Africa since then. The SAQG is the national guild of South Africa, a non-profit association with 11 regional guilds represented as well as other affiliated quilting groups.

Apply Now
IN STRANGER TIMES: The Art Bank of South Africa 2021 New Acquisitions Exhibition

Exhibition: IN STRANGER TIMES: The Art Bank of South Africa 2021 New Acquisitions Exhibition

Venue: Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Dates: 3 March – 8 May 2022

Opening: 19:00 on Thursday, 3 March 2022

Walkabout: 10:00 on Friday, 4 March 2022

"Man cannot change or escape his time. The eye sees the present and the future." - Salvador Dali.

The narrative thread to the upcoming Art Bank of South Africa (ArtbankSA) exhibition at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 3 March 2022, is the artistic reflection of our time. The seventy unique works selected from the hundred and thirty-eight artworks acquired by the ArtbankSA in 2021 reflect the artists visions and our society, embracing the everyday South Africa in a world in crisis. With the many threats to the future of humanity such a global pandemic, anthropogenic climate change, and the developments in technology, IN STRANGER TIMES, explores what constitutes life; biophilic and human, the relationship between individuals and technologies, the connection between bodies and the earth.

As the world gingerly opens following a time of fear, it may be time to adjust our expectations. Emerging from a period of fear and loss these inspired expressions of identity, socio-economic conditions, socio-religious belief, heritage, and morality create the opportunity for dialogue about future possibilities to make the world better, seeking new conditions of existence.

ArtbankSA is a national programme of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture as part of the Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) strategy implementation and is hosted by the National Museum Bloemfontein, an agency of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture. Its vision is to promote, foster and stimulate a vibrant market for the collection of South African contemporary visual art through the lease and sell of artworks to South African government departments, private companies and private individuals. Visit www.artbanksa.org for more information.

Oliewenhuis Art Museum cordially invites the public to attend the opening and walkabout of IN STRANGER TIMES. Entrance is free of charge for both events. The opening will take place at 19:00 on Thursday, 3 March 2022 and the walkabout of the exhibition at 10:00 on Friday, 4 March 2022.

The exhibition can be viewed from 3 March until 8 May 2022 at Oliewenhuis Art Museum. The art museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00. Entrance is free and secure parking is available for visitors. A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access for wheel chairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor.

For more information please contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 051 011 0525 (ext 200) or oliewen@nasmus.co.za.

Apply Now
Walking on a rim of light A solo exhibition by Diana Page

Walking on a rim of light, a solo exhibition by Diana Page

Dates: 24 February – 10 April 2022

Venue: Oliewenhuis Art Museum (the Reservoir)

Opening event: 19:00 on Thursday, 24 February 2022

Walkabout: 10:00 on Friday, 25 February 2022

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is proud to announce Walking on a rim of light a solo exhibition by South African multi-disciplinary artist Diana Page to be exhibited in the Reservoir.

Diana was born in Durban and raised in Grahamstown. She gained an undergraduate degree at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg (1986) and later an HDE (PG) Sec at the University of Cape Town (1987) and completed a Masters in Painting at Rhodes University, Mahkanda, (1996). Over the last 3 decades as a professional artist she has exhibited, taught and collaborated with other artists in both South Africa as well as in Istanbul, where she has been resident for sixteen years. She has participated in public art projects and held exhibitions in South Africa, Turkey and internationally.

Her work explores a transnational existence and ideas about space, home, and identity through painting and the parallel practices of drawing, digital animation, and performance.

Diana states, “My experience of one home always occurs in counterpoint to the other. My memory and imagination of these two places is informed by constant drawing and revisiting of images along the Bosphorus, where I have my studio”. From this studio she views and experiences the city of Istanbul in its constant state of change.

Diana’s work skirts abstraction – the images are suggestive, fluid and not descriptive. She embraces an approach to contemporary painting that favours chance and whimsy over absolutism and certainty. Some paintings appear almost as line drawings, whilst others have a highly layered and lively surface – a lush, painterly surface reflecting a history. Her lyrical images remain open to allow the viewer to bring their own interpretations, emotions and memories when engaging with the work. Walking on a rim of light comprises new large as well as more intimate wall-based paintings, editioned photographic and digital prints, including digital presentations of Page’s sketchbooks. Digital video pieces of Page’s performances complete the show.

Oliewenhuis Art Museum cordially invites the public to attend the opening and walkabout of Walking on a rim of light. Entrance is free of charge for both events. The opening will take place at 19:00 on Thursday, 24 February 2022 and Fine Art Consultant, Les Cohn of Art Source South Africa will conduct the walkabout of the exhibition at 10:00 on Friday, 25 February 2022.

Walking on a rim of light can be viewed from 25 February until 10 April 2022 in the Reservoir at Oliewenhuis Art Museum. The art museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00. Entrance is free and secure parking is available for visitors. A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access for wheel chairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor.

For more information please contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 051 011 0525 (ext 200) or oliewen@nasmus.co.za.

Apply Now

Temporary Exhibitions 2021

From desolated recollections to anticipated festivities Curated from Oliewenhuis Art Museum’s Permanent Collection and ArtbankSA’s Collection by Yolanda de Kock.

Exhibition:  From desolated recollections to anticipated festivities, curated from Oliewenhuis Art Museum’s Permanent Collection and ArtbankSA’s Collection by Yolanda de Kock.

Venue:  Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Date:  25 November 2021 – 20 February 2022

21months ago a global pandemic, the Corona virus, infiltrated our homes, bodies, and ways of living and thinking. Finally it impacted how we perform rituals, celebrate and gain energy from friends and family as well as communities surrounding us. Insecurities are fostered due to continuously changing lockdown levels, rumours about different variant strains of the virus, and approaching ‘waves’. This resulted into conspiracy theories creating fear and a loss of trust in science and leadership. Regrettably our ‘new normal’ led to extreme poverty, an increase of gender based violence, isolation and a loss of hope for many people.

The main concept of this exhibition is not focussing on the harsh, depressive realities the country had to face the last few months. But rather to acknowledge this reality by contrasting isolation with festive rituals and celebrations. Artworks from the Permanent Collection and the ArtbankSA Collection were handpicked to unpack concepts about joyful moments, hinting about the possibility of upcoming holidays and leisure activities. Ultimately we ask the questions of how and with whom we will celebrate these moments and will it be allowed? Can traditional festivities be revitalised with new memories and cheerful celebrations that will create new optimism without feelings of negativity or hopelessness? The choice of artworks also dialogues the different ways individuals experience the festive season.

This exhibition’s ultimate aim is to showcase works that ranges from a variety of themes: satire, beauty, interior and exterior spaces, mysticism, rituals and traditions, hopeful views of vacations or places to escape in contrast with desolated spaces. A strong focus will be given on rituals, the ceremonial and how we celebrate and relax with dance, music and cooking.

Artworks by renowned South African artists will be on display such as Sam Nhlengethwa, Ella Fitzgerald Live, Paul Alberts, Gesloopde Gereformeerde kerk, Marion Arnold, The furniture of our minds, Norman Catherine, Role Call, Johannes Maswanganyi, Simon Peter the Fisherman and Karin Preller, Amanzimtoti 1958.

From desolated recollections to anticipated festivities can be viewed from 25 November 2021 until 20 February 2022 at Oliewenhuis Art Museum. The art museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00. Entrance is free and secure parking is available for visitors. A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access for wheel chairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor.

For more information please contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 051 011 0525 (ext 200) or oliewen@nasmus.co.za.

Click here to view the Exhibition’s Education Leaflet

Click here to view From desolated recollections to anticipated festivities leaflet

Apply Now
Are you game? An exhibition curated by the Art Museum Guides at Oliewenhuis Art Museum

Exhibition: Are you game? An exhibition curated by the Art Museum Guides at Oliewenhuis Art Museum

Venue:  Annex Gallery, Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Date: 3 December 2021 – 27 March 2022

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is excited to present an exhibition titled, Are you game?, curated by the 2021/2022 Art Museum Guides of Oliewenhuis Art Museum; Anelisa Dondolo, Brian Jugar, Mamosa Lesenyeho, Puleng Rampone, Thamsanqa Malgas and Wethu Mokoena

“As the world evolves, self-representation has become a crucial part of society due to how we influence one another as people through social media representation. This influence is mostly visible with technology and social media trends; as standards and expectations of beauty and success are set and determined by us, the possible active participants in this practice who form the majority of the world’s population,” explains the Art Museum Guides about the concept behind the exhibition.

Are you game? focuses on raising awareness about how society may be addicted to these notions of the modern 21st century which deal with self-representation. Some individuals have become more concerned about their looks and statuses and how they represent themselves within society resulting in a loss of identity. This loss of identity has given rise to a sense of "a fake culture" within society and is driven by the advancements of technology and what the media deems to be "ideal or perfect". 

As social media is heavily influential on society, it is thought to be a major contributor towards imitated social appearances and how some individuals copy one another’s ‘looks’. Some individuals have an urge to be seen as perfect, and that is reflected in what they represent about themselves and the identity they choose to portray through the use of technology. This can translate into an addiction and may seem playful and fun and the participants may not always be aware of this game of this make-belief self-representation.

“As humans we are distracted by all the roles we play and identities we present and that could lead to questioning our roles in the society and world. This can become a game for some individuals to choose roles and fit into roles that is make-believe and far removed from their authentic identity.  One manifestation of this is selecting a character and creating an identity for it when playing video games,” the Art Museum Guides add.

This exhibition was curated with artworks sourced from the Oliewenhuis Art Museum’s Permanent Collection and The Art Bank of South Africa’s Collection.

Are you game? can be viewed from 2 December 2021 until 27 March 2022 in the Annex Gallery on the first floor of Oliewenhuis Art Museum. The art museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00. Entrance is free and secure parking is available for visitors. A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access for wheel chairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor.

For more information please contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 051 011 0525 (ext 200) or oliewen@nasmus.co.za.

Apply Now
HOPE: An exhibition curated by retiring Principal Conservator at Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Linda Wheeler.

Exhibition: Hope: An exhibition curated by retiring Principal Conservator at Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Linda Wheeler.

Venue: Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Dates: 4 October - 21 November 2021

In times of turmoil, life is stripped to the basics which become important sources of comfort. Family life and human relations are sources of comfort and nature is a stabilizing force that keeps on functioning as usual, while human wars or natural calamities rage.

Artworks for Hope were chosen from Oliewenhuis Art Museum’s Permanent Collection by the art museum’s Principal Conservator, Linda Wheeler. The exhibition was curated around themes such as relationships and interaction between humans as well as peaceful scenes in nature, having inspired artists through the ages to capture moments which can be relived and enjoyed.

The exhibition includes, miniature paintings in watercolour by Sheila Nowers of cats in homely settings, a dog in a box, painted in oil by Michael Pettit, Iris Ampenberger’s etching of a cat climbing a tree and Wendy Malan’s screen print of a cat on a window sill focus on the role of pets in family life. Maud Sumner’s oil painting of a lone boat, has the calm feeling of free composition and simplicity as influenced by the Nabis, a French group aiming at simplifying design and tone and free composition. In contrast is Otto Klar’s oil painting of the lively sea which still has a soothing effect on the senses.

Linda was appointed in November 1994 at Oliewenhuis Art Museum.  She started documenting the Permanent Collection of Oliewenhuis Art Museum which comprised of over 600 artworks and was appointed as Principal Conservator, being responsible for the conservation and care of the Permanent Collection.  The collection has now grown to 1515 items. Linda has incredible insight and passion for the artworks in the Permanent Collection and sadly after 27 years she ends her career at Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 30 September 2021.  Hope will be on show in the Annex Gallery from 4 October until 21 November 2021.

The Oliewenhuis Art Museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00.

For more information please contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum at 051 011 0525 (ext 200) or oliewen@nasmus.co.za

Apply Now
Āvāhana – Invocation: A solo-exhibition by Amita Makan

Exhibition:  Āvāhana – Invocation, a solo-exhibition by Amita Makan

 Venue:  Reservoir, Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Date: 5 October – 14 November 2021

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is proud to announce Āvāhana-Invocation, the first iteration of a travelling solo exhibition by South African-born artist Amita Makan. Celebrated internationally for fabric constructions with embroidery and collage, Makan infuses her work with identity, memory and history by using vintage saris, and intuits the contemporary by integrating found materials – the detritus of plastic that litters our surroundings and pollutes our expressions of care.

Makan begins with a self-portrait from which radiating avenues explore the flailing survival of the very nature upon which we depend. In this way, Makan underlines her role within an increasingly urgent cultural response to capitalist-driven environmental mayhem that, here, takes form as a prayer to restore the balance and harmony of a fractured earth. In an essay accompanying the exhibition, art historian Hélène Tissières writes: “The rendering of nature into art aims to question the… domination of nature which gradually leads to the disappearance of thousands of species, breaking the food chain, disrupting the regulation of the ecosystem.” Tissières references philosopher Félix Guattari who “decries the work of politicians who … have proven unequal to the task assigned to them...” He contends that only an ethical-political linkage between environment, social relations and human subjectivity will be able to answer these questions. For him, “it is essential that individuals change their way of acting, their conditioning… reconstruct their subjectivity, rework their social relationships and break free of their passivity.” It is this political manifesto that Makan invokes in her works that, through delicate rendering, speak of a fragility undermined by greed.

Artist biography

Amita Makan was born in South End, Port Elizabeth, currently lives and works in Pretoria, South Africa, and has produced three solo exhibitions to date: Vasant (Galerie Rosa Turetsky, Geneva, 2016), Nomalungelo: Threads To Freedom (Constitution Hill, Johannesburg, 2014), and Evanescence (KZNSA, Durban, 2011). Selected international group exhibitions include Artgenève (Geneva, 2019, 2018, 2017), Aqua (presented by the NGO Art For The World, Lake Maggiore, 2018), A New Humanity (Dakar Biennale, Dakar, 2018) and Imago Mundi – Bennetton Foundation (Treviso, Rome, Venice Biennale, Pratt Institute of Brooklyn and the United Nations, New York, 2015). The artist has been awarded residencies at the Cité International des Arts (Paris, 2014) and the Chowmahalla Palace (Hyderabad, 2010), and works are housed in collections of the Art Bank of South Africa, Robert Sobukwe Museum, University of South Africa, University of Pretoria, Edoardo Villa Museum, South African Reserve Bank, Durban International Convention Centre, Luciano Benetton Foundation and the Chowmahalla Palace Collection.

The Āvāhana-Invocation can be viewed from 5 October until 14 November 2021 in the Reservoir at Oliewenhuis Art Museum. The art museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00. Entrance is free and secure parking is available for visitors. A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access for wheel chairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor.

For more information please contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 051 011 0525 (ext 200) or oliewen@nasmus.co.za.

Follow the link to view the catalogue:

www.art.co.za/amitamakan/Amita-Makan-Avahana-Catalogue-Oliewenhuis-2021.pdf#toolbar=0&navpanes=0&scrollbar=0

Apply Now
32nd Annual Sophia Gray Memorial Exhibition: Presented by Lucien le Grange

Exhibition:  32nd Annual Sophia Gray Memorial Exhibition: Presented by Lucien le Grange

Venue:  Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Date: 26 August – 26 September 2021

Sophia Gray (1814 –1871) was the first woman to practise architecture in South Africa and one of the earliest women in the world to do so. As a tribute to her achievements, the University of the Free State instituted the annual Sophia Gray Memorial Lecture and Exhibition in 1989 to recognise the contributions of a practising architect. This year’s lecture and exhibition is presented by Lucian le Grange.

Lucien graduated from the University of Cape Town in 1972. In 1975 he graduated from Rice University in Houston Texas (USA) with a Master Degree in Urban Design.

He joined the staff at the University of Cape Town School of Architecture in 1978 and remained there until 2011. He was Director of the School from 2005 until 2010. During his tenure at UCT Lucien taught Design and History and Theory of Architecture at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He also published extensively on various topics, most famously conservation studies on Moravian Mission Stations in South Africa.

He established his practice in the early 1980s. After the change in dispensation in 1994 the practice grew considerably.

From its inception the practice has had an ethos of inclusivity and teaching. Many of Lucien's students have continued to grow in the office, where teaching, discussion and debate are viewed as part of everyday practice.  Every project is approached with care and integrity. The practice is committed to good design that responds to the needs of the environment, the physical and social contexts, the people whom it serves and society at large.

 “We believe that good design needn't be ostentatious or expensive, and that all of humanity has a right to a life of dignity and joy that good, well considered and informed, sensitive architecture and urban design can provide.”

The exhibition can be viewed either online via the link below or viewed in person at Oliewenhuis Art Museum from 27 August to 26 September 2021.

www.sophiagray.co.za/lecture-32

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00. Entrance is free and secure parking is available for visitors. A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access for wheel chairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor.

For more information please contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 051 011 0525 (ext 200) or oliewen@nasmus.co.za.

Apply Now
Containment: Stitched aesthetics to cultural constraints

Exhibition: Containment: stitched aesthetics to cultural constraints

Venue: Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Dates: 7 August - 28 November 2021

Containment: stitched aesthetics to cultural constraints

This exhibition aims to reflect on notions of cultural constraints, by utilising artworks from the Permanent Collection of Oliewenhuis Art Museum, and century old artifacts: garments (corsets, gloves and Chinese Lotus shoes) that are treasured at the National Museum’s History Department’s collection. The exhibition also mirror concepts such as a masquerade of femininity, femicide, and ‘stitched aesthetics’ by means of deceivingly beautiful garments like the corset that caused the body physical harm. A special focus are given to artists such as Leora Farber, Lebo Thoka, Majak Bredell, Nandipha Mntambo and Nomusa Makhubu.

Both the artworks and garments on display were handpicked to relate to physical pain and suffering the female body endured to fit a societal norm (from the early 1900’s until today), and is used as metaphors for the emotional pain and humiliation, that resulted in the pivotal moment in history where black females just had enough of the patronizing and derogative era of apartheid and marched in the streets of Pretoria demanding freedom.

For more information please contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 051 011 0525 (ext 200) or oliewen@nasmus.co.za.

Apply Now
Life Line: Art in the time of COVID - PESP Projects

Exhibition:  Life Line: Art in the time of COVID - PESP Projects

Venue:  Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Dates:  On show until 22 August 2021

Oliewenhuis Art Museum and Art Bank of South Africa (ArtBankSA) are celebrating the success of their Presidential Employment Stimulus Programmes (PESP) with an exhibition showcasing a selection of artworks from the ArtBankSA Banking with Art – Connecting Lives Art Bank Commissioning Programme and images of murals created for the Public Arts Programme – Towards a People’s Culture.

The Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme was a response to the clarion call by the Honourable President for job creation with a focus on youth, women, and people with disability towards economic recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic. The intention was for the Visual Arts sector to create temporary employment funded by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, between November 2020 and March 2021. The National Museum implemented three PESP programmes:

  • Banking with Art – Connecting Lives Art Bank Commissioning Programme

The Art Bank of South Africa in partnership with the Cultural and Creative Industries Federation (CCIFSA) invited 100 artists from all provinces to create artworks for potential inclusion into the ArtbankSA Contemporary Visual Art Collection. A selection of these contemporary artworks, now officially part of the ArtbankSA Collection forms part of the Life-Line: Art in the time of Covid-PESP Projects exhibition.  Included as part of the exhibition is a large woodcarving in the Sculpture Park, Sefate sa dipale tsa Africa / A tale about an African tree, carved by local woodcarvers, David Molapisi, Bernette Phalatsane, Kaizer Mafereka and Hartman Magasi.

Visit the ArtbankSA’s social media pages to learn more about the programme - @artbankSA

  • A Public Arts Programme – Towards A People’s Culture

The Oliewenhuis Art Museum recruited 92 young people from all over the Free State, to participate in the Free State Public Arts Programme, as part of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme. The programme aimed to popularize national symbols of our freedom and create national pride about these transformative elements of South Africa through a dedicated Public Art Murals programme. The Public Arts programme also raised awareness of social ills such as Gender Based Violence and the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as instilling community pride and nurturing a sense of place.  The project was managed by Oliewenhuis Art Museum in collaboration with artist and Art Coordinator, Marius Jansen van Vuuren. At the start of the project, workshops were arranged and presented by the Art Coordinator, in Mangaung (including Botshabelo, Thaba Nchu and Soutpan/Ikgomotseng), Ficksburg, Koffiefontein, Harrismith, Phuthaditjhaba and Welkom. Team leaders and their teams conceptualised, planned and secured sites for large murals before the physical painting of the murals commenced. The murals were created in-situ in busy public spaces, engaging commuters and local communities. Finally 21 murals were completed in all of the above mentioned areas, including two at Oliewenhuis Art Museum. 

Visit the Oliewenhuis and the Public Arts Programme’s social media pages to learn more:

@OliewenhuisArtMuseum @FSPublicArtsProgramme

  • Banking with Art – Connecting Lives Visual Art Graduate/Emerging Artist Placement Programme

The Art Bank of South Africa in partnership with the Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA) provided the opportunity for visual arts organisations, galleries and individual mentors operating in the visual arts sector in all provinces to host 56 interns. This programme sought to place emerging visual artists and/or graduates with commercial galleries or visual arts institutions for up-skilling to undergo in-house training. As part of this programme six interns were appointed to complete an internship programme at Oliewenhuis Art Museum and ArtBankSA. The interns assisted in various tasks and activities at Oliewenhuis Art Museum and gained invaluable knowledge. They curated and installed an exceptional exhibition, HOME, as a collaborative project. The exhibition was on show in the Annex Gallery at Oliewenhuis Art Museum from 18 March – 9 May 2021.

The Bloemfontein based interns were Kamagelo Walaza, Puleng Rampone, Antoinette Strydom, Nkosana Mxakaza, Mamosa Lesenyeho and Julian Mentz also assisted with all aspects of the Public Art Programme.

Visit the Oliewenhuis and the Public Arts Programme’s social media pages to learn more:

@OliewenhuisArtMuseum @FSPublicArtsProgramme

The exhibition will be on show until 22 August 2021 at Oliewenhuis Art Museum, located on 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein.

For more information please contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 051 011 0525 (ext 200) or oliewen@nasmus.co.za.

Apply Now
The language of visual art: A curriculum based exhibition Curated from the Permanent Collection of Oliewenhuis Art Museum

Exhibition: The language of visual art: a curriculum based exhibition Curated from the Permanent Collection of Oliewenhuis Art Museum

Venue: Annex Gallery, first floor at Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Dates:  26 July - 05 September 2021

The language of visual art is an exhibition based on the Grade 10 visual art curriculum with a special focus on the formal elements of art. The formal elements of art are seen as the building blocks of creating an artwork and consists of eight visual parts: line, form, shape, colour, texture, tonal value, space and movement.

A visually stimulating display from the Permanent Collection of Oliewenhuis Art Museum was curated to bring both enjoyment to the viewer while simultaneously educating them about crucial elements that make an artwork remarkable. An artist includes the visual elements in order to entice the viewer with visual clues, and this exhibition was based on that concept and spontaneously unfolded into an exciting, pleasurable exhibition.

The language of visual art represents South African artists and artworks from the Permanent Collection of Oliewenhuis Art Museum. This exhibition is an amalgamation of visual and tangible textures to be witnessed by the work of Adriaan de Villiers, the striking use of colour and expressionist mark making of Pauline Gutter, line, colour, concept and composition that is captured in the work of Lucky Sibiya, the portrayal of shape and space in the work of Sandile Goje and lastly tonal value, gray scale and perspective that is mastered by Ben Botma.

The remarkable aspect of this exhibition is that it speaks to a larger audience than just the Grade 10 learner. It is a visual celebration of artworks that is rarely on show. Being educated about the formal elements of art is not only for the school learner, but for any person that is interested to learn more about art.

Please book a guided tour for yourself, your learners or a group of friends. This is free of charge and we accommodate small groups according to the current Covid-19 lockdown level. For more information contact the Education Officer, Yolanda de Kock on yolanda@nasmus.co.za or call Oliewenhuis Art Museum at 051 0110 525 (ext 200).

Apply Now
2020 Lockdown Art Quilts: An exhibition of quilts by members of the Oranje Quilters’ Guild

Exhibition:  2020 Lockdown Art Quilts: An exhibition of quilts by members of the Oranje Quilters’ Guild

Venue:  Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Dates:  21 May - 20 June 2021

2020 Lockdown Art Quilts

An exhibition of quilts by members of the Oranje Quilters’ Guild

 Quilt art, sometimes known as art quilting, is an art form that uses both modern and traditional quilting techniques to create art objects. Practitioners of quilt art create it based on their experiences, imagery and ideas, rather than traditional patterns.

The selection of quilts was created by nine quilters from the Oranje Quilters’ Guild, the Free State Guild affiliated with the South African Quilters’ Guild. In February 2020, Iessie Steenberg, experienced quilter and lecturer at the Central University of Technology, Design and Studio Art, started presenting a quilters course that is mainly dedicated to the design and creation of art quilts. The group met in February and March, but with lockdown had to communicate via cell phones and computers.

The lessons comprising the course focused on art elements and principles. In each designed quilt, the quilter had to highlight how these were implemented in their design. Although art elements and principles are always present in any design to some extent, it was expected that quilters intentionally demonstrate the use of these elements and principles in their quilts. Other aspects of the course included themes and techniques appropriate to art quilting as well as ten different ways of finishing the edges of a quilt.

The group was able to meet again in October 2020 and was excited to show and share their creations in person. The exhibition will be on show from 21 May until 20 June 2021 on the first floor of Oliewenhuis Art Museum, located on 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein.

The visiting hours during Level 1 is from Monday to Friday between 09:00 and 15:00, Saturdays between 10:00 and 15:00 and closed on Sundays and public holidays. No member of the public is allowed in after 14:30. Entrance is free and secure parking is available for visitors. A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access for wheel chairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor.

For more information please contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 051 011 0525 (ext 200) or oliewen@nasmus.co.za.

Oliewenhuis Art Museum

16 Harry Smith Street

Bloemfontein

T +27 (0) 51 011 0525 (ext 200)

oliewen@nasmus.co.za

www.nasmus.co.za
www.facebook.com/OliewenhuisArtMuseum
www.instagram.com/oliewenhuisartmuseum
www.twitter.com/Oliewenhuis
www.youtube.com/channel/UCKFVdvsMpo_QtRxwZ3XIJhg

Visiting Hours during Level 1:
Monday to Friday: 09h00 - 15h00
Saturday: 10h00 - 15h00
Closed on Sunday & Public Holidays

Please note:

The museum including the gardens, picnic spots and hiking trails close at 15:00. 

No member of the public is allowed in after 14:30. 

The changes to our daily operations were made to keep the health and safety of staff and visitors a top priority.

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is a satellite of the National Museum, Bloemfontein, an agency of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture

Apply Now
Site, Materiality and Ritual; Constructively Engaging with Death and Loss: A solo-exhibition by Adelheid von Maltitz

Exhibition:  Site, Materiality and Ritual; Constructively Engaging with Death and Loss A solo-exhibition by Adelheid von Maltitz

Venue: Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Dates: 13 May - 20 June 2021

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is proud to host a solo-exhibition by Bloemfontein based artist, Adelheid von Maltitz from 13 May to 20 June 2021. Adelheid is the current Academic Head of the Department of Fine Arts at the University of the Free State. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in 2005, her Masters in Fine Arts in 2009 and is currently studying towards her PhD in Fine Arts at the same institution. She has participated in several local and international exhibitions and in 2014 was awarded the ‘runner up’ prize in Sasol New Signatures.

For Adelheid making sculpture and installation art involves processes that allow her to think and work through personal anxieties regarding the trauma of death and loss. Her interest in how her own art-making processes are comparable to conventional historical, as well as contemporary rituals which engage with death and loss, was sparked when she observed (what looked to her like) and mother and sister continually, over months, rebuild and maintain a roadside shrine which she passed regularly on her daily commute. By initially examining the nature of roadside shrines in relation to her own art-making processes, she realized that the roadside shrine and the mourning rituals associated with it, could be investigated as a heuristic device with which to tease out questions related to her own studio research. She was struck by the similarities in the ways in which death and loss may be engaged with constructively and in a healing manner, in art. The similarities that emerged are related to aspects of site, materiality and ritual. She was stimulated to examine art-making concerned with trauma and loss and with memorialisation and mourning practices, according to these three categories in historical and contemporary examples in order to illuminate her research questions.

Adelheid considers most of the materials she uses in her artworks as site-specific, either directly collected from a site of trauma and loss or attempting to reference that site. These site-specific materials include earth, cremated bones, hair, nail clippings, breastmilk and lint. The use of resin and Plexiglas is primarily to support these materials, and they also contribute meanings through their own material characteristics. She explains that she thinks of these site-specific materials as imbued with meaning and that she imagines the materials she uses, for example earth from Nazi concentration camps in Poland (the country where her grandfather was born and fled from during WWII) to have ``witnessed’’ that death and loss. She further developed this imaginative thinking by means of particular processes when either re-working collected materials or creating new meaningfully imbued materials. These processes become ritual-like due to the structure she imposes on the way she collects and re-works the materials into her artworks. The ritualised actions of, for example, repetitive procedures of scattering, sprinkling, burning, pouring and grinding, and her working in specific places or at specific times, are all evocative. Moreover, there repetitive, place –or time- specific actions are enlivened by personal imaginative processes.

For Adelheid, even though she can imagine her way into something terrible like her own death or a family member’s death, her artwork, in all its various facets, allows her to engage with those thoughts and feelings and to some extend imagine a way out of it again. Her art making helps her be less paralysed and overcome, while it does not smooth over or hide realities. This ability to integrate the awareness of the certainly of death with the lush consciousness of continuation of life is after all what makes humans exceptional.

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein. The visiting hours during Level 1 is from Monday to Friday between 09:00 and 15:00, Saturdays between 10:00 and 15:00 and closed on Sundays and public holidays. Entrance is free and secure parking is available for visitors and for buses. A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access for wheel chairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor.

For more information please contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 051 011 0525 (ext 200) or oliewen@nasmus.co.za.

Click here to view the Exhibition Catalogue  

Apply Now
HOME: Legae, Lehae, Ekhaya, Home, Tuiste

Exhibition: Home: Legae, Lehae, Ekhaya, Home, Tuiste

Venue: Oliewenhuis Art Museum: Annex Gallery, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Dates: 18 March - 9 May 2021

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is excited to present a new exhibition titled, Home, conceived by the collective thoughts and concepts from a cohort of curators: the Interns of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP). This programme was made possible by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture in partnership with VANSA, Oliewenhuis Art Museum and ArtBankSA. The compelling energy of this curation was birthed from a synergetic vibrancy amongst the curators, who form part of different histories, but have a common thread that is a home. The commonality of "home" and the fact that Oliewenhuis Art Museum was once a home (for the General Governor and family), really pays homage to the history of this space.

The home is a living space where different interactions occur such as eating, dreaming and receiving guests. This influenced the idea of Art Salons. Traditionally the word "salon" meant living room in French and the idea is that Home displays the thought processes and actions of a home as an Art Salon. The word "salon" is understood in the context of a gallery space, as an aesthetic style of decorations. It is a gallery arrangement that displays all mediums, sizes and textures of artwork on one wall and aims to excite and over-stimulate a viewer. This movement derives its title from French Salons that arose in the late seventeenth century. These French Salons became the first public displays for art.

As a group of curators, the Interns made a selection of artworks that offered them the opportunity to contextualise the aesthetic quality of their homes. With the exhibition it appears in various ways, not just by how homes are curated to look a particular way, but also to explain the various habits formulated and how we as humans collect things of sentimental value. It becomes an obsessively personal observation of the unconscious acts of collecting things that holds meaning to the collector, ultimately evolving into an organic collection of clutter that can be likened to the Art Salon.

The theory for Home is an ideal characterisation of the globe reality depicting sites for everyday life that expose the complexities of social relations in homes. The exhibition creates, but also questions the synergy for a deeper meaning of a home within contemporary society and briefly entertains how a homogenised society would construct a home.

The artworks on display were selected from Oliewenhuis Art Museum’s Permanent Collection. Home features more than 70 artworks which showcase a diverse range of styles and media, including various photographic works and sculptures. Some of South Africa’s most prominent artists feature in this exhibition such as: Norman Catherine, Alexander Podlashuc, Marianne Podlashuc, Pauline Gutter,Walter Battis and Lucas Sithole, to name a few.

The exhibition will be on show in the Annex Gallery of Oliewenhuis Art Museum until 9 May 2021.

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein. The visiting hours during Level 1 is from Monday to Friday between 09:00 and 15:00, Saturdays between 10:00 and 15:00 and closed on Sundays and public holidays. No member of the public is allowed in after 14:30. Entrance is free and secure parking is available for visitors. A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access for wheel chairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor.

For more information please contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 051 011 0525 (ext 200) or oliewen@nasmus.co.za.

Click on here to view the Exhibition’s Education Leaflet

Click on here to view the artwork title booklet for all the artworks on show

Apply Now
Tiro ya diatla: New Acquisitions of the Art Bank of South Africa Exhibition

Exhibition:  Tiro ya diatla: New Acquisitions of the Art Bank of South Africa Exhibition

Venue:  Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Dates:  11 March – 18 April 2021

Tiro ya diatla is a Setswana saying that loosely translates to; “That which is made by hands”.

By showcasing the varying skills and materials used by artists in creating this 2020 collection; Art Bank of South Africa (ArtbankSA) in partnership with Oliewenhuis Art Museum, seeks to celebrate the diverse application of traditional and contemporary artistic materials. The voices of the 62 featured artists make up the new acquisitions of ArtbankSA that exhibits various artworks from media such as paintings, drawings, sculpture, textile, and photography.

Throughout the history of art, artists have used their talents and skills to reflect society and the issues that they encounter. Tiro ya diatla is no different. The featured artists come from different regions of South Africa and their work expresses the contentious issues facing society today. Topics canvassed in this exhibition include; gender-based violence, religion, politics and the ongoing global efforts to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

These artists use their creations to reflect and question their individual proclivities whilst engendering a notion of resilience and the spirit of humanity. They do this in the surroundings of a world that deals collectively with the adverse challenges of the pandemic. In doing this, the artists allow the viewer to reflect on his or her own experiences during this unprecedented time.

The notion that artists mirror society, can ring true through the work of Vuyisile Adoons, entitled Social Distancing. This work depicts two men playing a game of Morabaraba while maintaining social distancing and wearing masks. This is a reflection of our current times. Some of the featured artists include; Thandiwe Msebenzi, David Paton Murray, Lizo Pemba, Alet Pretorius,  Gabrielle Raaff, Mothobi Mefane, Thalente Khomo, Mandisa Buthelezi, Pierre Cloete, Happy Dhlame, Abrie Fourie, King Debs, Collen Maswanganyi, Cow Mashilo, Mfundo Joseph Mbali and Bulumko Mbethe.

About the Art Bank of South Africa

The Art Bank of South Africa (ArtbankSA) is a national programme of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture as part of the Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) strategy implementation.  ArtbankSA is hosted by the National Museum, Bloemfontein, an agency of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture. Its vision is to promote, foster and stimulate a vibrant market for the collection of South African contemporary visual art.

ArtbankSA is achieving this through curating a definitive collection of contemporary South African visual art and promoting financial sustainability for the artists. This will be done through the leasing and selling of artworks, nurturing emerging South African artists by expanding the market for their work and providing skills development opportunities and fostering an appreciation for contemporary art by making art accessible to the broader public in their workplaces, shared spaces and homes.

Through the exhibitions that ArtbankSA curates we seek to receive feedback from the different members of society to reflect the work of the project.

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein. The visiting hours during Level 1 is from Monday to Friday between 09:00 and 15:00, Saturdays between 10:00 and 15:00 and closed on Sundays and public holidays. No member of the public is allowed in after 14:30. Entrance is free and secure parking is available for visitors. A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access for wheel chairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor.

For more information please contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 051 011 0525 (ext 200) or oliewen@nasmus.co.za. For more information on the Art Bank of South Africa, please contact Nathi Gumede on 051 447 9609 or nathi@artbanksa.org

Oliewenhuis Art Museum

16 Harry Smith Street

Bloemfontein

T +27 (0) 51 011 0525 (ext 200)

oliewen@nasmus.co.za

www.nasmus.co.za
www.facebook.com/OliewenhuisArtMuseum
www.instagram.com/oliewenhuisartmuseum
www.twitter.com/Oliewenhuis
www.youtube.com/channel/UCKFVdvsMpo_QtRxwZ3XIJhg

Visiting Hours during Level 1:
Monday to Friday: 09h00 – 15h00
Saturday: 10h00 – 15h00
Closed on Sunday & Public Holidays

Please note:

The museum including the gardens, picnic spots and hiking trails close at 15:00. 

No member of the public is allowed in after 14:30 pm.

The changes to our daily operations were made to keep the health and safety of staff and visitors a top priority.

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is a satellite of the National Museum, Bloemfontein, an agency of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture

Click on here to view the Education Leaflet

Click on here to view the Art Bank of South Africa – Nurturing emerging South African artists Leaflet

Apply Now

Temporary Exhibitions 2020

The Don Quixote Portfolio

Exhibition:  The Don Quixote Portfolio
Venue:  Annex Gallery, Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein
Dates:  10 December 2020 to 21 February 2021

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is pleased to announce that a recent donation, The Don Quixote Portfolio, will be on exhibition from 10 December 2020 to 21 February 2021. The portfolio was inspired by Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes’ novel ‘Don Quixote’ published in two parts - part 1 in 1605 and part 2 in 1615. Illustrating selected quotations from Cervantes’ novel, which appear as printed sheets in the portfolio, it features the work of 16 artists and was printed at Atelier le Grand Village.

Atelier le Grand Village is a lithography studio located in the hamlet ‘le Grand Village’ in the Charente-Limousine area, in the south-west of France.  The founder, Francis van der Riet, was born and grew up in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe.  He studied in Cape Town and has lived in France since 1988. The aim of the studio is to revive the art of lithography by inviting artists in residence from around the world.

Well known South African artists, namely, Diane Victor, Bambo Sibiya, Willem Boshoff, Jan Vermeiren, Leon de Bliquy, Christiaan Diedericks, and Pauline Gutter have printed at Atelier le Grand Village and contributed to the portfolio.  Other South African artists that printed at the studio includes Mongezi Ncaphayi, Banele Khoza, Hanneke Benade and Themba Khumalo. The following international artists contributed to the portfolio: Michael Barnes, Sasha Bitzer, Corrine Forget, Anne-Catherine Charbonnier, NINA Kovacheva, Patrice Lefèvre, Valentin Stefanoff, Suzanne Touvay and Francis van der Riet.

The Quixote / Quichotte Portfolio was one of the first group projects of the studio.  The idea was for a collection of artists that had previous residencies at the studio, to contribute to this portfolio, with the aim of showcasing the richness of lithography as a printing technique. It also shows how artists personalise the technique, resulting in a rich variety of styles.  The portfolio of 16 artworks, 39cm (h) x 36 cm (w) took around 5 years to complete. 

From the start it was agreed with the artists that each would receive one edition of the portfolio and that the studio would donate editions to institutions in the countries where the artists came from.  As the majority of the artists are South African, it seemed fair and appropriate to donate an edition to two institutions in South Africa.  Atelier le Grand Village have already donated one edition to the Iziko South African National Gallery.  Willem Boshoff suggested that the studio approach Oliewenhuis Art Museum, and the Advisory Committee gladly approved an edition to be accepted into the Permanent Collection. It was a wonderful opportunity to expand the collection and is in line with Oliewenhuis Art Museum’s objectives for the collection which include; ‘To collect, document, conserve and research works of art acquired through purchase, commission, bequest and donation.’

Editions were also donated to the following collections: Bibliothèque Nationale de France,

Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the Albertina collection, Vienna.

Oliewenhuis Art Museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein. The visiting hours during Level 1 is from Monday to Friday between 09:00 and 15:00, Saturdays between 10:00 and 15:00 and closed on Sundays and public holidays. Entrance is free and secure parking is available for visitors. A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access for wheel chairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor.

For more information on Oliewenhuis Art Museum please contact the Museum at 051 011 0525 (ext 200) or oliewen@nasmus.co.za. Stay up to date by following Oliewenhuis Art Museum on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for all upcoming exhibitions and events.

For more information on Atelier le Grand Village please visit www.legrandvillage.net and follow all the happenings at the studio on Instagram (@atelierlegrandvillage).

Click on here to view the catalogue

Apply Now
Creatively Contrasted:  New views on the Permanent Collection

Range of stylesOliewenhuis Art Museum is please to present:

Creatively Contrasted: New views on the Permanent Collection

30 September – 15 November 2020

Creatively Contrasted: New views on the Permanent Collection is a curated exhibition from the Permanent Collection housed at Oliewenhuis Art Museum, specifically created in celebration of Heritage Day celebrated on 24 September. The Permanent Collection is an outstanding collection of South African art. It has a solid foundation of early South African artists and continually expands on its collection of works by contemporary South African artists.

By selecting artworks by contrasting interesting aspects such as the oldest and the most recently created artwork in the collection, the exhibition aims to give a fresh perspective on the collection. The exhibition highlights the incredible variety of heritage objects that it comprise and pays tribute to the incredible richness of South African visual art.

The exhibition is made virtual for all to enjoy until the museum opens to the public, and then visitors will be able to enjoy and experience the exhibition at Oliewenhuis Art Museum.  

View the virtual exhibition here:

View Catalogue

Download Catalogue

Apply Now

Temporary Exhibitions 2019

TIMELESS: Between Matter & Spirit, a solo exhibition by artist Dr Esther Mahlangu

Esther Mahlangu invitations.cdrExhibition: TIMELESS – Between Matter & Spirit, a solo exhibition by artist Dr Esther Mahlangu

Venue: Main Building, Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Opening: 18:00 on Thursday, 23 May 2019

Informal Walkabout: 10:00 on Friday, 24 May 2019

Dates: 23 May – 23 June 2019

Africa’s diverse cultural heritage and dignity is uniquely celebrated by the work and life-long commitment of artist and global Ndebele cultural icon, Dr Esther Mahlangu. Art curator and writer, Beathur Mgoza Baker reflects on how: “Her life defies chronology and her talent, defies the conventions of the Western art as a truly African articulation of our collective cultural heritage". In South Africa we embrace her as a national treasure, a wise elder and passionate, committed ambassador who has captivated the interest and imagination of the world with her gift, and her beautiful understanding of how art is central to our cultural identity as human beings. Even at the age of eighty three the iconic artist still continues producing work and creative interpretations of the sacred geometry and practices of Ndebele and African culture.

A selection of her artworks and heavily beaded blankets in celebration of the artist and Africa month is on show in the Main Building of the Art Museum.

Apply Now
Harmonia: Sacred Geometry, the pattern of existence by Gordon Froud

Exhibition: Harmonia: Sacred Geometry, the pattern of existence by Gordon Froud

 Venue: Reservoir, Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein

Opening: 19:00 on Thursday, 16 May 2019

Opening speaker: Adelheid von Maltitz, Lecturer and acting Academic Head of the Department of Fine Arts at the University of the Free State

Informal Walkabout: 10:00 on Friday, 17 May 2019

Dates: 16 May – 23 June 2019

Harmonia: Sacred Geometry, the pattern of existence by Gordon Froud

“Geometry is widely held to be the universal plan on which all material existence is based. The patterns of proportion, shape, form and numbers are found in the smallest atomic structures and are perpetuated at every level of existence even as far as a pattern for the expanding universe in which we live. Most belief systems acknowledge geometry as a plan; blueprint or map on/through, which matter, has come into being. This has variously been described as the thoughts of God, divine utterances, proof of a creator, a master-plan and so on. In its application geometry (Greek for earth – geo and meter for measurement) it is thus often imbued with notions of the divine or the sacred referring to a creator or God or energy force.” Gordon Froud 2018

Gordon Froud, well-known sculptor, Senior Lecturer in sculpture at University of Johannesburg and curator is presenting a new body of work that investigates various aspects of sacred geometry in the world around us. His cone virus sculptures (pointed polyhedra) have become iconic in the cities and towns of Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Stellenbosch and most recently in Richmond in the Eastern Cape on rooftops, in parks and on the streets. Having featured steel mesh geometric sculptures at Nirox Sculpture Park, Hermanus Fyn Arts festivals, Boschendal and Almenkerk wine estates, Froud has constructed a show that brings his research into focus for a monumental mid-career show at the esteemed Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg. This show has since travelled to Cavalli Equestrian Estate Gallery in Somerset West, KKNK festival, Oudtshoorn and will be on show at Oliewenhuis Art Museum from 16 May – 23 June 2019.

This show, however, extends to more than his sculptural works and includes drawing, printmaking, digital imaging, embossing and even animation. Froud looks at sacred geometry in the landscape, the cityscape, in the human form and in the spirit. Each of these chapters reinforces the proliferation and extent to which geometry is inherent to our existence and to the overall pattern of the universe. His exploration of the spiritual is not partisan (as he does not ascribe to a particular belief system himself) but looks at sacred geometry in most belief systems from ancient Egypt, Mayan temples, Judeao-Christian, Muslim and other beliefs, to contemporary beliefs in alien and inter-dimensionality of beings, crop circles and the like.

This extensive body of work (over 100 pieces) ranges from small-scale crystal glass works to a monumental 6.5m high polyhedron made from 18 giant road cones – manufactured and sponsored by Sinvac Plastics in Pretoria. An extensive catalogue was published and serve as a contextual retrospective of Froud's 35 year career so far. The catalogue includes interviews, academic articles and an in depth chapter by Froud on the work for this exhibition.

Harmonia: Sacred Geometry, the pattern of existence will be opened by Adelheid von Maltitz,

Lecturer and acting Academic Head of the Department of Fine Arts at the University of the Free State at 19:00 on Thursday, 16 May 2019 in the Reservoir, Oliewenhuis Art Museum.

A walkabout of the exhibition will be conducted by the artist at 10:00 on Friday, 17 May 2019.

Attendance of both the opening and walkabout events are open to the public to attend and free of charge. Oliewenhuis Art Museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein and is open from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00.

For more information please contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 051 011 0525 (ext 200) or oliewen@nasmus.co.za.

Apply Now
Basotho Blankets Exhibition

Basotho BlanketsBasotho Blankets Exhibition

Dates: 10/05/2019 - 23/06/2019

Venue: Oliewenhuis Art Museum (Annex)

The anthropology collection of the National Museum houses a large collection of Basotho blankets. Most are part of the Robertson collection, on loan from Neil Robertson's family. Neil Robertson was a third-generation tradesman in Basotho blankets, the grandson of Charles Hendry Robertson. A large number of these blankets will be on display at Oliewenhuis Art Museum until 23 June 2019.

What makes this collection of blankets unique is the time span over which it was collected. The collection includes a Sandringham mountain rug or Mohodu dating back to 1934, a Badges of the brave blanket honouring those who fought during World War II (1939-1945) as well as a Batho ba Roma blanket made to commemorate Pope John Paul's visit to Lesotho in 1988.

But certainly the most prestigious blanket in the collection is the Victoria England / Seanamarena or 'chief's blanket'. All of the above-mentioned blankets will also form part of the exhibition.

Apply Now
10th SAQG Travelling Exhibition of Quilts

10th SAQG Travelling Exhibition of Quilts10th SAQG Travelling Exhibition of Quilts

Dates: 12/04/2019 - 05/05/2019 

Venue: Oliewenhuis Art Museum (Annex)

The quilts on exhibition were selected from entries in the Siyadala Competition and were chosen to inspire and educate the viewers about the different styles and techniques, colours and designs used to create this collection of quilts.

This collection under the title 'We Create' has travelled across the country to various destinations and regions and will conclude at the SA National Quilt Festival in Midrand in September 2019. The opportunity to admire and see the talent and creativity of South African Quilters is not to be missed.

Apply Now

Contact us with any queries or suggestions:

© 2019 National Museum, Bloemfontein, South Africa – All Rights Reserved
Website development by Digital Platforms