Shobiyana High School Art Workshop & Exhibition
with acclaimed artist Andries Botha
Teaching teenagers to make art to enrich their lives through skills training, psychological and experiential creativity and providing economic opportunities.
Shobiyana High School is in Acornhoek, a designated Presidential Poverty Node in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. There is 80-85% unemployment and not much hope for school leavers. This rural area is ragged – it is under-resourced, often forgotten, neglected with broken infrastructure, short of water, – people go hungry here. There are thousands of orphans and vulnerable children and in extremely high HIV incidence – 1 in 3 people are positive.
There is also Walter Sibuyi.
For years in this challenging environment, Art Teacher Walter Sibuyi has been diligently showing up to teach hundreds of children about art at Shobiyana – his devotion to creativity is absolute. On an average day he has 70 children in his classroom; several hundred show up every Saturday morning for the art class, which Nick Vorono of our partner organisation NPO Seeds of Light has been fervently supporting.
Andries was so inspired by Walter’s joyful passion that he made a generous offer: as a project of The Andries Botha Foundation, he will run a week long art workshop at at Shobiyana in April, donating not only his time but, with Walter and the children, will build one of his famous elephants on the school grounds!
This will prepare learners for phase 2 of our project: a grand exhibition in the school hall in July, where the winning artwork will be awarded R5,000 ($500) and 20 artworks will be selected to be exhibited at the prestigious Art Cave Atelier in Salzburg, Austria. (See our PERKS on how YOU get to own an artwork!)
50 children will participate in the workshop and they need your help.
We need to purchase art materials, food, transport and materials to build the elephant sculpture.
Art enables people to know that they have rich inner resources, that they don’t have to look outside of themselves for what they need.
There is also an ever important need to link young people to nature and to establish an intimate relationship with wilderness and animals. Acornhoek borders the Kruger National Park, a nature reserve bigger than Israel that many of these children have never been into – a tragedy as THIS is their heritage.
What is rich beyond measure in Acornhoek is CULTURE.
Fusing deep Shangaan lore of family totems with the Human Elephant Foundation’s credo, “The elephant is a metaphor for the the yearning for forgotten conversations between humans, the Earth and all living things”, learners have begun preparations for the workshop.
The purpose of our campaign is to fund the workshop and exhibition, and also to build resources for Walter to expand his art program, his influence and work in this highly deprived area. We would like to run this program again next year and invite other high profile artists to participate to add impetus to the program.
We have already raised some funds to initiate the project – our partner organisations Seeds of Light, the Andries Botha Foundation, the Human Elephant Foundation, Bartel Arts Trust, Pick n Pay Hoedspruit and Zingela Ulwazi are working hard to make this happen. We hope you will join us!