Focus on: Franschhoek Festival of Art


The very first Franschhoek Festival of Art will celebrate the talents of all artists – from painters, sculptors and potters to street performers and buskers – in what promises to be an explosion of colour and creativity across the Franschhoek valley.

The brainchild of painter Stella Romanis, the festival is designed as a platform for undiscovered and often underprivileged artists to showcase their works. Three venues, each with a distinct character, will host a variety of artists, many of whom will be actively involved in their art during the course of the festival. This allows onlookers the rare opportunity to engage with the artists during the creative process, and gives the artists themselves the chance to gain inspiration from one another.  

At Eikehof Wine Estate, one of the oldest farms in Franschhoek, the towering oak trees dictate a rustic picnic theme, with straw bales, wooden benches and barrel tables. A spit braai will add a little sizzle to the picnic offerings, and music and entertainment will be provided by a number of buskers. The art on display includes sculptures, ceramics, etchings and contemporary art, with painter, sculptor, and ‘art catalyst’ Selwyn Pekeur headlining.

At Bridge House school the focus artist is Paarl-based ceramicist Nanette Ranger. Her larger-than-life figures fit in perfectly with the theme of ‘otherworldy’: art with an essence of magic and innocence.  The artists – housed under a massive Bedouin tent – are those inspired by fantasy and the mystical, while the entertainment will include magicians and face painters, mimes and fairies.  A variety of food trucks will be on offer, and a huge canvas invites contributions from anyone and everyone.

Art by Selwyn Pekeur

At La Bri, the rolling lawns and elegant rose gardens lend a ‘Downton Abbey’ feel, which will be enhanced with Victorian sofas and chaises longues and daybeds. Ronald West – best known for his ‘Fat Ladies’ wine labels – leads the other artists here, who all specialise in more ‘classic’ fine art and photography.  At La Bri guests can indulge in oysters and cheese boards to the strains of live classical music.

This truly is a festival with something for everyone to enjoy.  A feast for the eyes and ears (and stomach!) it promises a laidback, family-friendly atmosphere in stunning surroundings, with the opportunity to support some well-deserving talent, and maybe even snap up a future masterpiece.

Art by Nanette Ranger Dendrite
Art by Nanette Ranger Dendrite

The Franschhoek Festival of Art takes place 17 and 18 March 2018, and tickets cost R280 (U12 free).

WIN WITH WHAT’S ON IN CAPE TOWN & FRANSCHHOEK FESTIVAL OF ART: To stand a chance to win a night for two at the luxurious La Petite Dauphine guest house in Franschhoek, AND a bottle of GM&Ahrens Vintage Cuvee bubbly, simply share the post on Facebook and tag anyone you think deserves pampering. Draw takes place on 15 March 2018.  The night at La Petite Dauphine must be taken before 30 September 2018 and dates are subject to availability.
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