DURBAN ART GALLERY PREPARES ARTISTS FOR BUSINESS
By: Winston Sibanda
The Durban Art Gallery (DAG) hosted a workshop on Thursday, aimed at grooming artists into entrepreneurs.
The workshop which was facilitated by Nothando Mkhize started on Wednesday. Grassroots artist got an opportunity to network with people who are in charge of exhibitions in different art spaces.
One of the people who attended the workshop, Senzo Ndlovu, said he had not acquired any artistic education. Art was his passion and he expressed great hope in his work.
Ndlovu said, ” As much as I don’t have any qualification I believe I will make it in the industry and I know that one day I will exhibit my pictures and make a living out of it.”
Mkhize urged all artists to dream big and view themselves as business people. She told them that talent alone was not enough for one to make it in the art industry.
“It is your responsibility as an artist to determine what you are worth. Brand yourself and make a name for yourself and you will make money regardless of the quality of you work,” said Mkhize.
She told artists to register themselves as businesses so that they may get funding from different entities. She also took the audience through different steps on how to establish a business.
eThekwini municipality’s Education Officer Witty Nyinde said the workshop was inspired by artist’s daily enquiries. She said there was a gap that needed to be filled in order for artists to look at art as a career. She said over the years DAG has held Business of Art workshops in a bid to empower artists.
Nyinde said, “We have seen results from such workshops because we received calls from the MEC confirming an increase in the number of business proposals sent to his office- this shows that people are putting what we talk about into practice.”
One of the artists, Rufus Daniel, said it was time for artists to take initiative. According to him, he has written to the municipality requesting assistance in establishing a music, art and drama centre (MAD).
The programme facilitator urged artists to work together in order to have a louder voice. She expressed disappointment in the spirit of individuality among Durban artists.
Mkhize said, “One of the reasons we are still struggling with funding is that we don’t bang the doors at the same time. There is power in numbers and if we work together we will be well established as a profession and we will be taken seriously.”
In her conclusion she asked all people in attendance to start a career from their talents.