The First Thursday of every month is when Cape Town celebrates all things art. Art galleries are open till late. There are live music performances, awesome restaurant specials and more. Now that my entire country is on quarantine lockdown the art scene of First Thursdays is postponed. Fortunately there a few wonderful online virtual art tours you can take. All you need is a phone or a laptop with an internet connection and you too can see the amazing artwork coming out of South Africa whilst you are safe at home.
See the magnificent murals of Salt River
Baz Art an NGO which promotes art holds an annual festival which sees the streets of Salt River coming alive, muralists from Cape Town and abroad come together to paint creative, inspiring and bold murals. I attended this year’s International Public Art Festival (IPAF) and the theme for the murals was the digital age. The IPAF organizers included free walking tours of the murals which was so much fun and informative. I also got to meet a number of the mural artists. Now that the festival is over you can still see the virtual tour which includes some of the murals. The video on YouTube lasts only 8 minutes but, it will give you a brief glimpse of what I was lucky enough to see.
You can find the tour at: http://baz-art.co-za/highlights/uncategorised/360-virtual-street-art-tour-cape-town/
The Norval Foundation’s Sculpture Garden
This is one of the galleries I have not gone to yet. I can’t wait to visit it as it is 10 minutes away from my new workplace. Sadly, Corona had other ideas. Still I got to “walk” around the sculpture garden on my virtual tour. What I like about this tour is that it is a Google Maps styled one which makes you feel like you are walking around the garden. The garden is beautiful with the mountain range in the background and there’s a clear blue sky as well. I can only imagine how great this tour would look with VR glasses.
The garden tour link is: https://www.norvalfoundation.org/vitual-tour/
You can also see their Instagram account which has short clips of artwork : @norvalfoundation
Standard Bank’s Gallery
Standard Bank’s Gallery exhibition is over. Luckily the bank made its exhibition available online. I really loved this online tour because you can get super close visuals of the pieces. This is a big advantage of this tour. In real life you could never get that close to the art. This tour is also very interactive. It is like you’re walking around the exhibition space and for me this tour was easier to navigate than the Norval Foundations virtual tour.
View Standard Bank’s Gallery over here:https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=fGqiEqcvFs1
Johannesburg Art Gallery
Google has partnered up with the Johannesburg Art Gallery to display some of its exhibitions. You can see the art pieces by scrolling through the collections. I will have to go to Johannesburg soon to visit this gallery as the online version has made me very interested in seeing the real thing once it is safe and responsible to do so.
Johannesburg Art Gallery’s art can be seen at: https://g.co/arts/WtJnPUn23FmRNpYY9
First Thursdays has decided to display some of the art of certain galleries which usually form part of this art event. It isn’t interactive however; many of the pieces are gorgeous. And you can see all the details of the art without all the crowds which normally goes along with First Thursdays. For this tour you will have to sign up to Artsy which is super fast to do and it is also totally free. Artsy allows you to buy the artwork as well so if you have cash to spare and time to wait till after South Africa’s lockdown is over you can own one of the pieces. This is great for the artists and our art industry, if you’re broke like me ha ha though you can still just have a browse without buying anything.
Extra: Add your own
You can upload your own pieces of art by using the hashtag #ETCSharing on Instagram where Eclectica Contemporary will feature your art on its Instagram stories. If you have any artistic talent this is a fun way to pass some of the time you have to spend indoors.
There’s also a call by the Getty Museum to recreate a work of art with objects and people in your home. The challenge has led to some wonderful images from creative people.
You can see some of the Getty Museum art highlights in this article:https://www.sadanduseless.com/recreated-art
Or go to the @GettyMuseum Twitter account to see what people have been posting.
Hope you guys enjoyed reading this post and if you have any comments please feel free to share them. Does your city offer any great virtual tours you know of let me know? And if you do decide to check out any of these tours let me know if you liked them. Thank you so much for taking time to read this post. I appreciate your support.
Stay safe and take care