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Gerard Sekoto Youth Festival Print E-mail
19 December 2012



 T he recent Gerard Sekoto Youth Festival featured a variety of artistic activities, from drama, painting, face painting to printmaking, film and dance.

The annual event which takes place on the 16th December every year, kicks off  in the morning to late afternoon, dedicating the whole day honouring the late Gerard Sekoto-a renowned artist.

Running since 1991, the event is an opportunity for people to learn more about art and celebrate Sekoto’s life and works.

This year saw the event featuring a variety of art activities for the whole family, including: drama, painting, face painting, printmaking, film and dance, aimed at educating the youth about art and Sekoto’s work in particular.

When Sekoto won the Vita Art Award in 1991, he reportedly, generously donated all his prize money to the gallery to be used for a special day for the youth,and  JAG organises an annual event on the 16th December  to honour Sekoto…thanks to  Musha Neluheni, who tirelessly oversees the event.

Sekoto was born in Middelburg, in what is today the province of Mpumalanga, in 1913. After graduating as a teacher, he taught at a secondary school in Polokwane for four years before he moved to Johannesburg to become an artist.

He settled in Sophiatown in the city of gold, and also spent time in District Six, in Cape Town. Living in this vibrant cosmopolitan suburbs were regular subjects for his paintings.

Sekoto’s painting, Yellow Houses, was the first work by a black artist to be added to the JAG’s collection – bought in 1940. In 1947, Sekoto left South Africa for Paris, France where he lived until his death in 1993. In his first few years in Paris, Sekoto was known more as a jazz musician than as an artist. His work resurfaced in the 1960s after a visit to Senegal.

The artist received a number of awards from the French government and an honorary doctorate from the University of Witwatersrand. Works that have been returned to South Africa, courtesy of the Gerard Sekoto Foundation, are exhibited at the Wits University Art Gallery, the JAG and the South African National Gallery in Cape Town.

The gallery is situated in Joubert Park on the corner of Klein and King George streets.

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Last Updated on 14 January 2013