The eagerly anticipated ‘Solo Studios – Intimate Art Encounters’ returns to the Riebeek Valley in August with what promises to be another highlight on the cultural calendar.
Seventeen artists’ studios will be open to the public over the weekend of 18 to 20 August, with seven of these artists having invited external collaborators to co-exhibit in their personal spaces.
A further seven group exhibitions will be held at various galleries and venues, including two private art collections in exclusive guest houses. Spending time in the intimate spaces of the artists’ studios will offer pass-holders an insight into their processes and inspiration.
“We don’t merely sell art at Solo Studios. We sell an experience,” says Klaus Piprek, co-founder and director of Solo Studios. “These experiences go further than the visual arts. Apart from the art exhibitions, there is so much more to enjoy in what has become known as Arts Town Riebeek Valley, encompassing the twin towns of Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West. Prepare to be lured away from your planned art route by the aromas wafting from a coffee shop, by the scent of essential oils from the locally produced botanical range or by a tantalising wine tasting at some of the most acclaimed Swartland wine producers.”
Shawn Hewitt, project manager for this year’s event, adds: “In addition to the visual arts, visitors can expect a host of venues offering food experiences and wine tastings. Entertainers will flow onto the streets and pavements and creative community development projects will be showcased in plentiful fringe activities. Add to that the richness of local flavour from wine and olive producers, the abundance of restaurants, the village bakery and the profusion of craft and artisanal outlets.”
“The best way to fully appreciate what we have to offer is to make a whole weekend of it,” Klaus advises. “There’s simply not enough time in one day to fully absorb all that Solo Studios and the valley have to offer.”
The record-breaking ‘Solo Studios – Intimate Art Encounters’ event of 2022, with 183 art pieces sold, valued at R2.5 million, resulted in stiff competition to participate in this prestigious event. For the 2023 edition, 17 local artists were selected from the large number of worthy applications.
A highlight of the 2023 event will be a special concert of newly commissioned music specially composed for Solo Symphony by the Winelands Philharmonic Orchestra and featuring the local Riebeek Valley Steelband. The musical showcase will take place in the historic NG Church in Riebeek Kasteel on 20 August, concluding this year’s Solo Studios weekend. For the first time, these two orchestras will perform music together – a new overture composed by Kristi Boonzaaier, as well as arrangements or adaptations by Boonzaaier of music that the steelband has previously performed solo numerous times.
The scenic Riebeek Valley is less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town and other cultural centres such as Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek. Accommodation in the two small towns is limited and patrons are strongly encouraged to book tickets and accommodation well in advance.
There is a variety of options of passes, from a Day Pass at R150, to a Premier Weekend Pass at R395 per person. Peripheral activities may incur a surcharge.
For ticket sales and more information, visit www.solostudios.co.za. Or contact Shawn on 082 528 6785.
ARTISTS AND EXHIBITIONS
Local artists (with collaborators):
- Tamlin Blake (with the Keiskamma Art Project)
- Solly Smook
- Riaan van Zyl
- Brett Shuman (with Linda Waterkeyn)
- André François van Vuuren
- Emma Willemse
- Ade Kipades (with Hennie Meyer)
- Andries Dirks (with Arno Morland)
- Gordon Williams (with Paul Kristafor)
- Wiehan de Jager (with Clayton Sutherland)
- Kevan Moses (with Shui-Lyn White)
- Lizette Visser (with Ros Koch)
- Louis Nel
- Misha Hillier (with Hannelie Strydom)
- Antoinette von Saurma
- Sharon Bischoff
- Dieter Wust
Galleries and exhibitions:
- RK Contemporary
- QStudio in partnership with Impendulo NPO at the Riebeek Valley Museum
- Pictorex Photographic Gallery
- Gallery 7 on Plein
- Spier Arts Trust
- The Royal Gallery
Private art collections:
- Die Kunshuis (owners Mike & Lorna Spittal)
- 1 Royal Street Guest House (owners Ashley Stone & Antonio Tomazi)