Where art meets a crowd and a cause

MARCH 2018 – A new local artists’ initiative, The Travelling Art Gallery, is planning to showcase contemporary South African art at hip pop-up exhibitions in three major German cities in June/July 2018. And the passion project is looking for your support on the global crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.

“Our aim is to take South African art to the world, and to invite the world back to South Africa”, explains Barbara Lenhard of the Opulent Living Concept Store & Gallery in Cape Town. She and her partner Florian Gast are putting their considerable experience as gallery owners and event planners into making the travelling gallery a reality.

“The Travelling Art Gallery is a collaboration between various artists in South Africa who want to show their art to an international audience,” says Barbara. “It’s a project I’m passionate about. I’m German, although I’ve lived in Cape Town for nearly 10 years, and I want to share with Germany what is happening here in South Africa. I believe this is a project that can have so many wonderful spin-offs for the local art and tourism sector, as Europeans who visit the exhibitions will be inspired to visit the country to see more of what it has to offer. We will show amazing local art that we feel speaks to a wide audience. It will be a reflection on South Africa and will showcase South Africa.”

The project would like to take between 60 to 70 art works to Germany and set up pop-up exhibitions in at least three major cities: Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich and/or Hamburg. Each exhibition would last between eight and 10 days and would be supported by a local PR campaign and host an opening event to pull in as wide an audience as possible. The Goerzwerk, an industrial loft complex that is one of the hottest locations in Berlin with 110 tenants, has already agreed to house The Travelling Art Gallery pop-up.


“We will have a good mix of established artists and emerging talent, which most Europeans will never have seen before,” adds Barbara. “It will create a wonderful platform for local artists who can’t otherwise afford to take their art to Europe.”

Of course, any initiative of this size needs money, which is why Barbara and Florian are thrilled to have been accepted by Kickstarter, the leading global crowdfunding platform for creative projects. “We want to encourage as many people as possible to help get this initiative off the ground,” says Barbara. “Every financial pledge assists with operating costs, and will ultimately give South African artists the exposure and recognition they deserve.”

Everybody who wants to contribute can go to www.kickstarter.com/projects/1656467294/the-travelling-art-gallery-an-artists-project to make their pledge. An important detail is that the amount pledged will only be collected by Kickstarter when the target has been reached and the project turns into a reality.

There’s also an opportunity for sponsors to show their affiliation with this art initiative. “Art is always a talking point,” says Barbara, “and with South African art there’s still so much to be discovered. Pop-up events provide vibrant, modern spaces in which to interact with customers and the exhibitions will provide companies with ample opportunities for marketing, brand-building and customer relationship activities.” Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor can contact Barbara Lenhard on +27 (0)79 403 2393 or barbara@thetravellingartgallery.com

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