ABOUT ART WEEK
The ART WEEK project is inspired by similar international models and takes the form of a week-long annual festival comprising of a co-ordinated programme of events and activations. The function of the ART WEEK organisation is to initiate and actualise such events and activations. As a central objective, ART WEEK builds a forum in which the public, and role-players within the contemporary arts, can engage and participate, and share audiences and information resources.
ART WEEK was started in 2012 by The Contemporary Arts Development Trust (CADT) with the aim of developing new audiences, increasing visibility and strengthening the visual art industry in Cape Town. What began in 2012 as a small project driven by the simple idea of highlighting local contemporary art grew into the only annual festival to shine a spotlight on both the Johannesburg and Cape Town art scenes.
All participants’ events are included on a map/programme which is distributed free of charge in and around the city; as well as on the various digital platforms. Programmes are diverse, often including: public performances, exhibitions, public talks and presentations, art and cultural city tours, and artists’ studio visits, amongst many other activities. Participants include, but are not limited to: galleries, non-profit arts organisations and institutions (private, academic and government), artist collectives, as well as various commercial and non-commercial public spaces.
A significant aspect of this project is the facilitation of events and activations within previously disadvantaged, ‘satellite’ areas. With a view of developing the diversity and inclusivity of the visual arts sector, we aim to create more points of contact between community arts organisations, informal initiatives, and the mainstream visual arts industry. The project is used as a means for eliminating the intimidating perceptions of the contemporary arts. ART WEEK also endeavours to invigorate the commercial aspect of the industry, in turn generating employment opportunities.
With each iteration of ART WEEK, the project becomes more established, and creates a greater awareness about contemporary arts and the art market in South Africa.