Reflection on the Cape Town Art Fair
The National Art Gallery of Namibia at the Cape Town Art Fair 18th- 21st February 2016
The NAGN was invited to have a stand as a cultural institution at the 2016 Cape Town Art Fair (CTAF) that took place between the 18th and 21st February. The fair was well attended by South African and international Galleries, and likewise visited by a big audience of international collectors, gallerists and art appreciators.
The Gallery received much positive attention for the three artworks on display in the booth, confirming the commercial potential for Namibian art internationally, as well as the existence of opportunities for cultural exchange with other cultural institutions.
Attending the Cape Town Art Fair gave us various opportunities as a cultural institution with the mission of showcasing Namibian art and artists.
Through attending talks by other institutions as well as networking events organised by the fair, our curators developed greater understanding of the workings of the wider artistic community while generating dialogue about Namibian art and its visibility. Maintaining these contacts made will be key in moving forward with increasing visibility of Namibian art in the international community.
The fair operates largely on a commercial platform and as such the NAGN was approached by private collectors and institutions about potentially buying Namibian art as well as varied future collaborations.
Our NAGN booth was situated alongside other cultural/not-for-profit galleries. The Association of Visual Artists (AVA) Gallery in Cape Town, the Iziko Galleries in Cape Town and the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, for example, were all interested in possible future collaborations as well as sharing of skills across staff. Additionally, through conversation about the Triangle Network, our curators discovered opportunities for residencies for Namibian artists in South Africa, while also informing many Zimbabwean and South African artists about the NAGN Tulipamwe Residency in Namibia.
Our two curators worked very hard to put together our NAGN booth which displayed the work of Namibian artists Petrus Amuthenu, Urte Remmert and Filipus Sheehama.
The Cape Town Art Fair was an important and appreciated opportunity to remind the international art world not only of the existence of the National Art Gallery of Namibia, but also of the quality of work of Namibian artists.