BAZ-ART GROWING A NEW BATCH OF ARTISTS
Cloudy skies brought colourful artworks by children in Philippi Village on Friday, 11 September. This comes as a result of Baz-Art’s SA Artist Programme which is a much-needed project that uplifts our local community and keeps children off the streets. To demonstrate the programme’s impressive results to date and to honour the wonderful art pieces created by the kids, the NGO hosted an official graduation ceremony awarding students their certificates of achievement. The parents beamed with pride for their children as they pitched up in groups, cheering and taking photos while their children – some wearing vibrant traditional attire, took centre-stage to collect their awards.
Baz-Art art teacher, Mark Jeneker, who hosted the art classes every day for the last seven weeks, took great pleasure in the ceremony and thanked the children and parents for their dedication to the SA Artists Programme. While Jeneker called out the names of each student he jumped at the opportunity to share a fond memory with the crowd, sending chuckles through the hall making the graduation even more special. The exhibition featured artworks by 40 students ranging in age from 5 to 17-years old.
Little artist and dedicated student (aged 10), Avuyile Qezu from Philippi says she really enjoyed the art classes with Mr Jeneker. “Art classes taught me that I should practice my drawing more regularly. I realised that I’m good at it and need to keep going.”
After the the NGO’s co-founder, Alexandre Tilmans kicked off the day with a warm welcome he shed light on two of their leading projects for 2020, titled Arts & Education and Arts & Artists – both fragments of the SA Artist Programme. “Now that we’re half way through our project, we hope to get more funding so that we can do a one-year curriculum. The plan is to provide more children with life skills through art education”, say Tilmans.
This was the first exhibition of Baz-Art’s grant-in-aid programme, supported by the City of Cape Town with special guests consisting of officials from the City of Cape Town and the Department of Arts and Culture.
Jeneker has been using art to teach discipline, acceptance, engagement, the value of effort and life skills to kids off the streets. The venue for the programme, Philippi Village, became a suitable fit for this project by honouring the students in a building intended to provide a space where people come to work to find inspiration. The clever integration of the debris from the demolished factory into the walls of the new building offers a tangible example of the idea that new and lovely things can be created in broken and abandoned places.
One of the many proud mothers, Zimkitha Sindaphi says the programme helped keep the children off the streets during the Covid-19 pandemic and further explains that she felt relieved the SA Artist Programme was a safe space for the children to be also teaching them creativity. “My child always takes the pens and paper lying around the house now and has started drawing since they started attending the art classes.”
Following the graduation, guests roamed around the dilapidated structures on the property during which they could view the marvellous three-dimensional skate-inspired wall murals being painted live by the candidates from the Art & Artists division. Baz-Art’s Arts & Artists project boasts magnificent artworks from artists living and working in South Africa and is definitely a project to keep on your radar. The project focusses on career development, further enhancing an already robust skillset.