The Ampersand Foundation celebrates 21 years with exhibition

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The UJ Art Gallery will be abuzz when the Ampersand Foundation Award 21 years celebration exhibition opens on 11 September 2019.

The Ampersand Foundation - 21 Year Celebration
The Ampersand Foundation – 21 Year Celebration

This extensive show, curated by Gordon Froud, senior lecturer at FADA (UJ) is set to shine a light on the depth of South Africa’s artistic talent and includes works by numerous Ampersand Fellows like Diane Victor, Paul Emmanuel, Gabrielle Goliath, Mbongeni Buthelezi, Penny Siopis, Nicholas Hlobo, Senzeni Marasela, Stephen Hobbes, Alan Laing and Heidi Fourie .

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The Ampersand Foundation has had an immense impact on the country’s fine art landscape over the last 21 years by affording visual arts practitioners exposure to the wider international arts landscape of New York.

“Ampersand has sent more than 300 artists to this city and the exhibition pays tribute to the 21st anniversary of the Foundation. This will only be the third time works by Ampersand Fellows are exhibited all together. I curated the fifth-anniversary exhibition at the Civic Gallery in Braamfontein and Warren Siebrits the tenth-anniversary show at his gallery. I felt it was time to recognise all the effort of Jack Ginsberg and the Ampersand Foundation in promoting visual arts in South Africa,” says Froud, himself an Ampersand Fellow from 1997.

Vanessa Tembane, Um dia na Praia 1 (A day at the beach) (2018)
Vanessa Tembane, Um dia na Praia 1 (A day at the beach) (2018)

Froud has taken on the mammoth task of bringing these artists together from all over the country. In curating the exhibition, he did not set a theme or required that the artists use work completed or inspired by their New York visit. Except for size restraints, given the number of artists exhibiting, Froud has invited free expression and he looks forward to finding the conversation that emerges between the various artworks submitted, as well as a look back at where they have come since their Ampersand residency.

“I wanted to put on a really powerhouse exhibition that shows the depth of the South African art scene and bring all these artists, some very well known, some not so well known, into one space together.” The show features amongst others work from the first recipient, Paul Emmanuel (1997) to the latest – Kate Gottgens, Wayne Matthews and Alison Shaw.

“The UJ Art Gallery offers an ideal space for this fine art celebration, not only will this exhibition host twenty artists who have been affiliated with the University of Johannesburg but it also offers students an incredible opportunity to see work by more than 100 of South Africa’s top artists all in one space at one time”.

– The Ampersand Foundation is a non-profit charitable trust established in 1997 by art patron and chairman Jack Ginsberg and managed by a board of South African and American Trustees. This prestigious Award rewards excellence in the visual arts by granting an Ampersand Fellowship Award to professional South African contemporary visual arts practitioners of varying ages.

The Award enables artists to visit New York and offers the recipient, designated an Ampersand Fellow, a funded/ semi-funded one or two-month residency at the Ampersand apartment situated in Tribeca in New York, two blocks from the site of the World Trade Centre. Ampersand Fellows have the opportunity to visit many great museums and galleries thereby benefiting career development

The Ampersand Foundation 21 Years Celebration Exhibition runs from 11 September to 9 October 2019. Gallery walkabouts will be conducted by the curator on Saturdays 22 and 29 September at 11 30 and Wednesday 25 September 2019 at 13 00.

For more information, contact Mia van Schalkwyk at 011 559 3114 or miavs@uj.ac.za and Titus Rakgoathe at 011 559 2556 or titusr@uj.ac.za.

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