Art galleries you should visit
Cape Town is South Africa’s cultural capital, where a passion for art is obvious in the more than 100 galleries dotted in and around the Mother City.
So whether you’re a serious art buff with a taste for historical and traditional pieces, a fan of contemporary comic art or someone who’s looking for a locally produced linocut – you’ll not be disappointed by the selection of galleries pretty much within walking distance to Grand Daddy. And the best news … many galleries sell artwork direct to the public!
Great as a formal introduction to the country’s multicultural history, the Iziko South African National Gallery
in the Company's Garden is open from 10am to 5pm daily. It has some amazing South African, African, British, French, Dutch and Flemish art. To add interest, they feature a changing programme of temporary exhibitions that put photography, sculpture, beadwork, textiles, architecture and paintings in the spotlight. Entry is R20 for adults and R10 for pensioners.
The Iziko South African National Gallery. Image courtesy Iziko
Get some fresh Cape air by talking a walk into the heart of the old city along the Church Street walking mall, where Georgian and Dutch facades front galleries like the Cape Gallery
at number 60. Open from 9.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 2pm on Saturday, the Cape Gallery specialises in paintings of the countryside, plants and animals by early Cape artists. A colourful, zany contrast is provided with displays of vibrant African street art.
While you’re in the neighbourhood, pop in next door, without paying a cent, to Worldart
at number 54 Church Street to see a range of modern urban and pop styles. Worldart are also experts at sourcing quality artwork for corporate and private collections, as well as marketing contemporary South African artists. You’ll find some new and exciting emerging artists in this intimate city gallery. Open Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm, and Saturday 10am to 2pm. For smaller budgets, there’s also a limited prints option – ask about it.
The Ava Gallery
– Association for Visual Arts – markets visual art and artists of the Western Cape. Divided into quadrants, the gallery can host four exhibitions at once, a really cool feature. Exhibitions change monthly at the Church Street venue, where entry is free. The Ava is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm and Saturday from 10am to 1pm.
Punting comic art and representing select painters, sculptors and conceptual artists is what the Erdmann Contemporary Gallery
is all about. They also sell affordable photographic works by local and international lensmen from their premises at 63 Shortmarket Street. Visit the Erdmann from Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm or Saturday from 11am to 1pm – no entry fee.
Between Hout Street and Longmarket Street, at 71 Loop Street, there’s the iArt Gallery, a self-styled “go-to place for local and international collectors and curators looking for established and emerging talent”. iArt is open Tuesday to Thursday from 10am to 3pm and on Saturday from 10am to 2pm, when you’ll be able to while away a few hours enjoying a range of exhibitions featuring contemporary artists – entry is free.
Time to take a load off with a cappuccino and tasty treat at Skinnylegsandall luxury café at 70 Loop Street, where João Ferreira
has an interesting exhibition of artwork for sale to the public.
Inside G2 Art. Image courtesy G2 Art
Framing facilities on one side, awesome photographs and prints to order on the other, that’s G2 Art
at 61 Shortmarket Street, between Loop Street and Bree Street. They’re open – free of charge – Monday to Friday 10am to 4.30pm, and Saturday 10am to 2pm.
While in Cape Town you’ll no doubt be paying a visit to the magnificent Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
shopping Mecca at the Cape Town harbour. And guess what? Tucked away on site at 3 Portswood Road there’s another splendid art locality, the spacious Everard Read Gallery
. With a focus on “fine contemporary painting and sculpture”, they delight in the discovery of budding local artists and sharing such talent with visitors. Open Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm, and Saturday from 9am to 1pm. No charge.