Cape Town has got it all in terms of scenic beauty – natural art at its finest – but look past the obvious scenic splendour of the Mother City and you will find a city bursting with creativity and a burgeoning and inspiring art scene that is sure to impress even the most cultured visitor. Not convinced? Just ask Travel Concepts. Forming part of The Concepts Collection (along with sister companies Wedding Concepts and Event Concepts), they’re the experts in handcrafting luxurious event, wedding and travel experiences across Southern Africa. Here they share their top artistic picks the Mother City has to offer:
CONTEMPORARY ART: The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa
This new architectural masterpiece is a piece of contemporary art in its own right. Whether you have an interest in art or not, walking into the atrium and dramatic honeycombed interior will leave you spellbound. Located in the former forsaken grain silos at the V&A Waterfront, The Zeitz MOCAA houses 100 galleries spread over nine floors, featuring 21st-century work from artists spanning from all over the continent. The 360-degree views of Cape Town from the 9th-floor rooftop sculpture garden just add to the artistic splendour.
EMERGING ART: Maboneng Township Art Experiences
This community initiative started in Johannesburg’s Maboneng district and is based on the belief that townships are the epicenter of art around the world. The Maboneng Township Art Experience turns local homes into personal galleries and outdoor spaces into vibrant performance districts. Started by Siphiwe Ngwenya, artist and Alexandra township local, this inspired initiative aims to change local perceptions of art as an activity of only the elite upper class, by training local artists, empowering the youth, and creating jobs through art. In Cape Town, the regular escorted tours curate an artistic journey into the homes of loving Langa and Gugulethu families and make the experience a really unforgettable one.
FOOD AS ART: La Colombe
Art stretches far beyond the paintbrush and canvas. At La Colombe Head Chef Scot Kirton’s flair for innovation ensures diners receive nothing short of art on a plate. Kirton’s exquisite plating skills are a precise art; balanced and perfectly harmonious. His team’s faultless techniques are awe-inspiring, to say the least. Recently voted as the 7th Best Restaurant in the World by TripAdvisor, this spot is surely a must-try.
STREET ART: Salt River Art Tour
One of the oldest areas in the Mother City, Salt River offers cultural diversity at its best. The suburb recently hosted the first International Public Art Festival in early 2017, welcoming over forty local and international street artists to manifest their imaginations on buildings in the area. The festival stimulated the beginning of a new art experience through which visitors are led on tours of the artistry by local residents with a wealth of knowledge on both the history of Salt River, as well as the new murals.
CITY ART: First Thursdays
On the first Thursday of every month, the streets of Cape Town’s CBD come alive with pedestrians – from trendy hipsters and young professionals to active retirees, families with dogs in tow, and foreign visitors – all looking for a fun night out! This monthly art-focused event sees inner-city art galleries and local boutiques, as well as other cultural attractions in Cape Town, stay open till late into the evening to encourage visitors to explore the city and all its offerings on foot.
DESIGN ART: Southern Guild Gallery
Situated in the new trendy Silo district of Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, the owners of Southern Guild have spearheaded the high-end design category in Africa over the last 10 years, putting Africa on the world stage and propelling local artist-designers to make spirited, challenging and complex work. The gallery is a wonderful celebration of world-class African art, showcasing the very best of aspiring African artists and local limited-editions.
SCULPTURAL ART: Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden
Hidden away on magnificent mountain slopes outside Stellenbosch, this expansive garden is home to hidden paths and a plethora of lush indigenous plants, but most importantly it houses over 60 structural pieces by world-renowned sculptural artist, and South African native, Dylan Lewis. The garden is also home to multiple species of fynbos, creating a link between nature and art that is a delight for the senses.
WINE AND ART: an artistic wine tour
The Cape is home to a number of beautifully manicured and exclusive wine estates that are becoming art galleries in their own right. Visitors can sample award winnings wines from a number of designer wine estates while simultaneously indulging in a little bit of culture – stroll through the sculpture gardens at Tokara or Leeu Estates, marvel at the paintings and design at Delaire Graff, be inspired by the gallery collections and designer restaurant at Cavalli, or take in the art gallery and spectacular interior design at the owner’s cottage at Grand Provence.