Mtunzini’s Art in the Shade festival on the roll

'Furbex' by internationally photographer Alice van Kempen. She has confirmed her participation in Mtunzini's 'Art in the Shade' festival

THE first Mtunzini Art in the Shade festival is fast taking shape and Zululanders should diarise 4 November so they don’t miss out on the feast of creativity and fun in the sun.

Since the announcement of the open air art-in-the-park event, a fund-raising project of Mtunzini Rotary, more than 30 leading painters, sculptors and professional photographers have indicated they would participate, with at least 11 having already booked their display sites.

These include acclaimed artists such as international photographer Alice van Kempen, eShowe-born sisters Shelley and Marian Mattinson (mixed media), eShowe painter and photographer Theresa van der Vyver and Mtunzini artist Cathryn Paver.

Also in the mix are well known marble crafter Sarah Rheeders, painters Louise Dainty, Zelda Grobbelaar, Asoti Naidoo, Empangeni fantasy artist Donovan Smith, as well as Hluhluwe’s master wood carver Sakhiwe Mthembu.

Empangeni artist Donovan Smith’s fantasy art will be on display at the Mtunzini festival

Rotary’s festival steering committee is well down the road putting the logistics together, working along the lines of a very clear brief – the occasion must be a classy lifestyle festival and not a flea market.

Apart from the obvious emphasis on professional visual and performing arts displays, complementary activities in tune with a ‘fine living and culinary excellence’ theme will ensure a good diversity of entertainment for the whole family.

These include an array of pop-up restaurants offering a wide selection of gastronomic delights – from traditional cuisine to a sushi bar, home-grown eastern cooking and a tea garden with sweet treat temptations, among others.

Wine tasting and the customary beer tent will allow for chilling opportunities in the shade in-between all the art browsing and social interaction.

Local artist Cathryn Paver’s work ‘The Sphinx’

Festival goers will be treated to a range of entertaining performances by musicians, Zulu dancers, mime artists, jugglers and the like, with a special focus on participation of the local community.

Zebra crossing

The good news is that Mtunzini’s beloved zebra family is to return, albeit in keeping with the creative theme, in symbolic artistic form.

Koos Best of Mtunzini’s The Original Furniture Company has undertaken to construct three life size zebras which will be placed prior to the festival at the island crossing between Hely Hutchinson Drive and the Station Road turn-off.

Artist Sarah Rheeders is among the group of leading creatives who will attend the art festival

Extending the zebra motif, tree trunks along the main route to the festival location – the open space along Siyayi Street (just before the cemetery) – will be adorned in black and white material strips.

The Art in the Shade initiative has no commercial profit motive. All funds raised will be channelled to community upliftment projects as per the Mtunzini Rotary’s mission of serving society.

Participants or sponsors wishing to still get involved in the festival, can contact festival coordinator Elize Viljoen on 082 3721669, or email [email protected]

One of the works of eShowe-born artist Marian Mattison, who has already confirmed her booking for the art event


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Carl de Villiers

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