By Buhle Andisiwe Made and Ruvesen Naidoo
The Carinus Art Centre hosted its first sold-out show since the COVID-19 pandemic on 20 May, also marking 15 years of the centre’s annual exhibition and auction. This year’s theme, “Viva La Frida”, paid tribute to Frida Kahlo – an astounding early 20th-century Mexican female artist and communist who revolutionised women in art and is best known for her portrait work.
Michele Kloppers, Carinus’ principal and organiser of the event, said that over the last 10 years, the
annual auction has become less of a formal sit-down dinner and more of a cocktail party, giving more space for socialising. The event is to mainly attract the energy of “people who love art at good prices, those that collect art, and those who appreciate art,” she said.
The event was full of creativity, colour, and connection – the theme, “Viva La Frida” brought together guests in conversation and costume, and guests were entertained by comedian and hype-man, Anton Krueger who auctioned off the art pieces on display.
The auction raised a whopping R75 000, R3000 more than the 2022 auction raised. All money raised from the auction will be used to upgrade facilities such as wifi and fibre, and buy new art supplies for the Carinus Art Centre Creative Visual Arts outreach programme with Nombuleleo High School, Ntsika Secondary School and Fikizolo Primary School. In this programme, learners are taught theory, textile and ceramic design and printmaking, painting, and sculpting, creating the basis for them to pursue art through school and then enrol in Fine Arts or Visual Arts degrees.
The main auction was for 44 artworks, and another 115 pieces were auctioned off in the silent auction. Local artists Tori Stowe (Makhanda), Richard Pullen (Bathurst), Louise Bay (Makhanda), Peter Midlane (Makhanda), Marc Pradervand (Makhanda), and Manfred Zylla (Cape Town) supplied the art, and students from P.J. Olivier Hoerskool, Victoria Primary School, Victoria Girls High School, Graeme College, and Ntsika Secondary School donated pieces too.
Pradervand, Midlane, and Zylla’s works were popular items on the block. Pradervand’s ‘Jack’s Xmas Tree’ starting bid was R1500, and eventually sold for R4600. Midlane’s ‘Story of an African Farm’ had an initial bid of R1500 and sold for R3300 with Zylla’s piece, ‘I bought myself a Tank’ selling for R3 700 after a starting bidof R800.
Almost 100 people attended, including Jenna Kretzmann, who said “With Makhanda being such a quiet place, it’s something nice to do on a Saturday, especially with the National Arts Festival close by”.
Auctioneer Krueger said that in his four years of being the official auctioneer of the event, the 2020 event during the Covid-19 pandemic was memorable as it was the only ever annual Carinus auction that was held entirely online. “I’ll do it again because it’s fun and it’s for a good cause”, said Krueger.
Lizelle Viet, Carinus Art Centre secretary said “The staff enjoyed hosting the auction and we were very
happy and pleased with the turnout from the community”.