Art and Destination Marketing: Cape Town Emerges as a Global Art Destination – Showcasing the City on the World’s Artistic Map

International Public Art Festival

Cape Town, already celebrated for its natural beauty, diverse culture, and rich history, is now stepping into the limelight as a global art destination. The city is set to be prominently featured on the world’s artistic map through the 8th edition of the International Public Art Festival (IPAF) – a transformative celebration of public art and creative collaboration.

Baz-Art, a pioneering non-profit organization, proudly presented the International Public Art Festival (IPAF) 2024, with the theme “CoACT | C0LLAB”. This year’s edition is poised to redefine Cape Town’s cultural landscape and highlight its emergence as a prominent global art destination.

Alderman JP Smith expresses his excitement about Cape Town’s burgeoning role as a global art hub, stating, “As we witness the convergence of local and international artistic talents during the 8th International Public Art Festival, Cape Town stands at the forefront of global art destinations. This transformative celebration not only adds vibrancy to our streets but also redefines the city’s cultural narrative, creating a lasting impression on residents and visitors alike.”

Murals and Creative Collaboration: Local and international artists have converged to create large-scale murals, turning the city into an open-air gallery of diverse artistic expressions. The theme “CoACT | C0LLAB” emphasizes creative collaboration, breaking down barriers between different art forms, disciplines, and cultures. This collaborative approach aims to redefine public spaces, making them vibrant hubs of cultural connection and community engagement.

Participating in the IPAF for the first time is Yolo Liso Xulu, Muralist and Illustrator from Johannesburg, who’s excited to bring his art to the lively city of Cape Town. Having previously showcased his works at esteemed galleries like The Viewing Room in Johannesburg, Yolo draws inspiration from street fashion, aiming to create visually pleasing and colourful pieces. “For me, art doesn’t always need to carry a deep meaning; I believe in the positive impact of colour on people. Growing up in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, where art was scarce, I recognized the importance of exposure. Murals, in particular, expose you to new perspectives and make you think,” says Xulu.

Guided Tours: The public is invited to engage with the vibrant streets of Cape Town through guided tours from February, starting at the Company’s Garden. These tours offer an immersive experience, allowing participants to explore the city’s creativity. During the festival days, attendees witnessed the live artistic process of local and international artists. Additionally, Art in the Park Workshops catered to kids and seniors, making art accessible to all ages and fostering community engagement. These sessions are crafted to stir the imagination through various art forms and mediums, including drawing, painting, and sculpting with clay or playdough.

Artivism and the Rhino Project: A highlight of IPAF 2024 is the integration of artivism, blending art and activism to raise awareness on critical issues. The Rhino Project, featuring artist Roa from Belgium, unveils a mural inspired by his time in a rhino conservation project in South Africa. This project sheds light on the urgent need to combat poaching in South Africa, offering a moving and thought-provoking interactive art activation that invites the public to engage with the serious issues surrounding wildlife conservation. “The support from the Delegation of Flanders in South Africa has been significant in realising this impactful initiative, fostering meaningful exchange between artists and facilitating discussions on creation and policy. This collaboration is part of our three-year partnership, demonstrating Flanders’ significant contribution to the flourishing art sector in South Africa. Their generous sponsorship of Belgium’s artist Roa and his impactful mural at the International Public Art Festival 2024, has been instrumental in bringing this international collaboration to life,” says Melissa Cucci, Founder and Creative Director at Baz-Art.

“Cape Town is not just a destination; it’s a canvas for transformation. IPAF 2024 is not only a celebration of artistic expression but a testament to the collaborative spirit that drives our community forward. ‘CoACT | C0LLAB’ is more than a theme; it’s a call to action for everyone to participate in shaping the city’s artistic narrative. Through collaborative initiatives, we aim to redefine public spaces and make them vibrant hubs of cultural connection and community engagement,’ says Cucci.

Engage, Explore, and Transform: IPAF 2024 invites locals and visitors alike to engage with artists, explore the city’s creativity, and witness the transformative power of public art.

Smith says, “This festival is not just an event; it’s a movement, a conversation, and a celebration of the vibrant intersection of art and destination. ‘CoACT | C0LLAB’ serves as a rallying cry for everyone to engage with the city’s artistic narrative actively. The integration of artivism, especially the Rhino Project, underlines the power of art to raise awareness on critical issues, making IPAF 2024 a compelling platform for meaningful conversations.”

As Cape Town positions itself as a global art destination, IPAF 2024 takes center stage, showcasing the city’s artistic brilliance to the world. Be a part of this celebration of creativity, collaboration, and community by exploring and initiating conversations around the murals at the International Public Art Festival 2024.

Photography by Kyle Judd Smith from Filmshark Studios.