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Collaboration creates a thriving art club

The Judith Neilson Foundation, Open Studios in Noordhoek, Ukhanyo Primary and MasiSports have produced an amazing art club!

Funds raised by Open Studios (over R20 000) from their 2021 open weekend had been donated to MasiSports. Open Studios is a collection of excellent local artists, sculptors and potters in Noordhoek. That donation planted an artistic seed in the minds of the MasiSports Exco.

Then last year Judith Neilson, now our patron, visited Ukhanyo Primary. She owns the famous White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney. While she supported wholeheartedly and funded the new Masi High School field, courts and nets she targeted art and litter as two important projects.

It was as though art had been patiently waiting in the Ukhanyo wings about to take centre stage!

At that time Lubabalo Pita, a Grade 3 educator, stepped forward to say that he had an art degree! He had assisted us in athletics and rugby and this year was asked by the Education Department to assist with the teaching of Maths to a group of teachers in the Western Cape region. He has just finished this two-week stint in Kuils River attending to this. (As an aside, Ukhanyo has multi-talented holistic educators.)

In the fourth term of 2022 – not the best term to start a new project – the Judith Neilson Art Club, in collaboration with Open Studios, was launched. Kids poured in.

Pita manages the Club with the help of two teacher assistants, Sibusiso Boyce and Nikiwe Ntsendwana. There are 30 daily regulars with 20 others on the fringes. This year Judith Neilson is also funding an art competition under the guidance of Pita and Aimee Kruger of Open Studios, who partly owns the Art Point Gallery on Noordhoek Road. This is a first for Ukhanyo.

And Open Studios has again supported us with funds raised from their 2023 Open Studios weekend. It was so special to see the crowds, even on the day of the Royal Coronation and the Stormer’s semi-final.

Judith Neilson Foundation T-shirts were also distributed – thank you to all involved. Art is such a vital component of a holistic education. Collaboration is the only way we can change the narrative and future of South Africa from the ground up. There is nothing more important and nothing more exciting.

Judith Neilson Foundation