Situated in the Art Block, the Midlands Meander exhibition at the Hilton Arts Festival must be at the very top of your list for a quality experience.
The Midlands Meander Association was founded on the idea that artists living in this scenic countryside would invite city people to come and see them in their environment where they make and create beautiful artwork and crafts.
In the early days it was an opportunity to entice visitors from Durban and Johannesburg to enjoy the relaxing countryside while admiring the arts. Today it is more than an arts route it is a thriving tourism route offering many different attractions from accommodation, shopping, artisanal food, and activities.
This year the Midlands Meander Association is 31 years old and has become the oldest and most successful “meander” tourist route.
One of the recent programmes initiated by the Midlands Meander is the Emerging Artist Programme. It was started in 2014 as an attempt to keep the vital arts and crafts culture of the Midlands Meander alive. It was also seen as an opportunity to pass on skills from one generation of talented artists to the next.
Artists while talented at their craft may not necessarily skilled in the business side of things, they rely on managers and others to sell their work and manage their finances. The Emerging Artists programme is designed to identify talented artists and crafters in the Midlands Meander community and to help them grow into thriving businesses.
The aim of this project is to give talented artists the business skills to market and showcase their wonderful talent and thereby make a living from their work.
Funded by the N3TC – this program has resulted in great growth in our artists. They have grown in confidence and they are starting to implement the lessons they have learnt in the classroom in terms of marketing and following trends. They are also costing their products realistically and sourcing new markets for their art.
This year’s exhibition will feature the work of local artists who have benefited from the programme: Muzi Ndlela, Calson Mangena, Impumelelo Beaders, Nokosinathi Mabaso, Stanley Nxumalo and Eric Ngcobo.
Other Meander favourites to look out for include: Cindy Powell, The Lilac Crane, Petersgate Herb Farm, Terbedore Coffee, Inkys Mosaic and Lona’s Pianos and Nuts about Books and Toys. Also at the show you will find Tasha’s Fudge, Dragonfire Beads and Aladdins De-Light who are offering workshops in pottery, mosaic and stained glass.
For more information, visit http://www.hiltonfestival.co.za or like the Facebook page, Hilton Arts Festival. Follow us on Tw tter @HiltonFest or download our free APP Hilton Arts Festival for both Android and IOS. The Hilton Arts Festival runs from September 16 to 18.