The Ichikowitz Family Foundation Drives Art Innovation to Build Unity Across Borders

In celebration of Heritage Month, September 2015, The Ichikowitz Family Foundation launches its Heritage Art Collection with a series of exhibitions beginning around Gauteng from the 6th of September. The Heritage Art Collection is one of the largest collections of its kind with paintings by South African and African artists dating back as far as the 1970’s.

To celebrate the launch, The Ichikowitz Heritage Art Collection has partnered with the Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA) for Art Week 2015.

The Ichikowitz Family Foundation kick-starts VANSA’s cultural journey with ART CROSSES BORDERSCONVERSATIONS. This ground-breaking showcase offers a rare opportunity for mostly young and self-taught artists from Alexandra to exhibit alongside inspiring artworks by veterans like David Koloane, Nat Mokgosi, and Winston Saoli as well as artists from the SADEC Region, including David Chinyama and Junior Fungai.

The two-week exhibition is hosted by Art Smart Brand at the Alexandra ICT Centre, Alexandra and will be held from 6 to 19 September 2015. This is the first of this series of exhibitions from the Heritage Art Collection.

Through innovative, educational, environmental and cultural activities, The Ichikowitz Family Foundation promotes nation building by providing platforms that invest in developing the future of Africa. After a history of triumphant successes in advocating the visual and performing arts for social change, including the recent benchmark World Tour for Unity by the acclaimed Alma Chamber Orchestra, The Ichikowitz Family Foundation promotes the advancement of art as a tool for dialogue.

The Ichikowitz Family Foundation has partnered with Vika Mjoka, art curator and administrator of the Alex ARTSMART BRAND, to create ART CROSSES BORDERS-CONVERSATIONS. The Ichikowitz Family Foundation fell in love with Vika Mjoka’s efforts to create the first professional Art Gallery in Alexandra Township, the original home of many renowned South African artists. Alex is a melting pot of African cultures and recently suffered multiple xenophobic incidents. In the context of these recent xenophobic attacks, of which Vika Mjoka himself was attacked and survived, this exhibit interrogates the nuances of borders seeking where they lie between countries, places, peoples, private and public, real and imagined, then and now.

In the context of these recent xenophobic attacks, of which Vika Mjoka himself was attacked and survived, this exhibit interrogates the nuances of borders seeking where they lie between countries, places, peoples, private and public, real and imagined, then and now. The driving force behind this innovative movement and The Ichikowitz Family Foundation, Ivor Ichikowitz, comments on the significance of the Heritage Art Collection:

“Heritage forms one of the four key pillars of the Foundation’s activities. Through the African Oral History archive, we provide access to the original testimonies of those involved in the numerous changes, setbacks and victories of our complex past. South Africa’s transition was no miracle – it happened because of dialogue and people ‘finding’ each other on a human level. In light of the many new challenges facing South Africa today, dialogue and human interaction it is just as important as it was 30 years ago. Xenophobia has come about because of a lack of communication and it is imperative for South Africans and our African neighbors to find each other. Our Foundation is committed to breaking down barriers and opening dialogue through innovative mediums like visual art.”

The second in this series of exhibitions, A FINE LINE, launching at Constitutional Hill on 29 October, maps the evolution of the Heritage Art Collection as an educational tool for high school learners and teachers. This artful interpretation of South Africa’s transition to democracy, mobilizes the fine work of Dean Simon into a thought provoking multi-media experience to foster learning and education. A FINE LINE includes a four-week high school program at Constitutional Hill, as well as an educational outreach program to rural high schools.

The Heritage Art Collection series of exhibitions is set to galvanise African audiences and position visual art as a catalyst for dialogue and nation building.

ART CROSSES BORDERS-CONVERSATIONS

ArtSmart, Alexandra Township FAST FACTS

WHEN: 6 to 19 September 2015

WHERE: ART SMART BRAND, NO.34-3 RD Road, Marlboro Industrial, Alexandra

ENTRANCE: Free of charge ARTISTS: DAVID KOLOANE, NATHANIEL (NAT) MOKGOSI, WINSTON SAOLI, MOSES MASOKO, NDABUKO NTULI, DAVID CHINYAMA, JUNIOR FUNGAI, CASSIUS KHUMALO, SICELO KHUMALO, , BILLY MOLOKENG , SICELO KHUMALO, THOMAS MASWANGELE, BILLY LENGWATI , BATSARAI MUSKWE , BRIAN KADZINGA. PRINCE MATSIKA, DANIEL MOATSHE, DANIEL MATSHIDISO, MIKE KHALI. BERTHOLD MOYO AND VIKA MJOKA

www.ichikowitzfoundation.com | @ichikowitz | Facebook ART SMART BRAND

About The Ichikowitz Family Foundation

Ivor Ichikowitz, well known as an industrialist and philanthropist with a passion for Africa founded The Ichikowitz Family Foundation in 2010. His philanthropic work is based on intelligent giving, innovation, and capacity building. The Foundation carries forward a long tradition of innovation, entrepreneurship, and community engagement to develop people through educational, environmental, and cultural activities. Its African Oral History Archive promotes a new understanding of African modern history and uses various channels, such as film, music, and art to foster dialogue between people and their heritage. By encouraging and resourcing the preservation of cultural treasures, the Foundation serves as a custodian of cultural inheritance for the nation and future generations. For more info contact Lindsay McDonald | 076 1010 421 | lindsay@invictuscomm.com