ROTARY ARTS FESTIVAL

As a creative person myself, I have a great deal of respect and appreciation for art in any form. Whether the medium is music, theatre, literature or in this case portraits; art is an expression from the soul and true art evokes strong emotions, not only from the artist themselves but from the person receiving the art as well.

Last night I had the honour of attending the media launch for the Rotary Arts Festival, an annual event in South Africa for the past 14 years, hosted by Hyde Park Corner. The opening was intimate; the artists being the starts of the show. A winner was to be named for the Rotary Portrait award and went to none other than Cathy Verheul, who to my surprise did an extraordinary oil painting that had Pumeza (my date) and I in awe. We gushed about how real and detailed the painting is and were delighted to discover minutes later that she was named the winner.

The evening ended with interesting conversations from politics to fashion and media but most importantly the efforts of the Rotary club to get young artists involved. Pumeza and I had an in-depth discussion with the upcoming president of the club including one of the judges of the evening about the difficulties of expressing your creativity in a capitalist world. Overall the night was pleasant, we left bursting with ideas on how we can make a contribution to the African art industry.

The winning painting from the Rotary Portrait Award by Cathy Verheul

The winning painting from the Rotary Portrait Award by Cathy Verheul

Oil painting by Dini Condy

Oil painting by Dini Condy

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Acrylic painting by Tony Matthews

Acrylic painting by Tony Matthews

Oil painting by Claire Weston

Oil painting by Claire Weston

Collage by Cheryl Curnick

Collage by Cheryl Curnick

Oil painting by Sally Whines

Oil painting by Sally Whines