Art lovers bundle up for Last Thursdays

Musician Ethan Florus performs for the crowd

Musician Ethan Florus performs for the crowd

Art fans braved the cold this week to enjoy The Armory restaurant’s first collaboration with the popular Last Thursdays art initiative in Stellenbosch.

The event was a change from the usual monthly walk between participating galleries in the town. According to Last Thursdays coordinator and director Simonn Marais it was a welcoming event for the The Armory.

“Last Thursdays was only scheduled to happen again in August because of the holiday and winter, but then the Amory approached me and asked if we could have a special event here because they want to be a part of Last Thursdays.”

The evening showcased six artists, four of whom are Stellenbosch students, and allowed for visitors to sit and enjoy wine along with the restaurant’s well-known pizzas, while listening to musician Ethan Florus.

The six artists were specifically chosen to accommodate the intimate venue. “It is a restaurant so space is limited,” says Marais.

Another factor affecting the event was the icy evening temperature, which Marais says influences public turn out. “People don’t want to walk around as much, that’s why we thought this month, while it’s still cold, to have it in one place. Next month it will be the other ones as well but we’ll also have special transport for people not to walk in the cold weather.”

 One of the featured artworks created by Simonn Marais

One of the featured artworks created by Simonn Marais

Mishkah Abrahams, one of the featured artists and a Maties student, made a sale during the evening. Abrahams says she has attended every Last Thursdays event this year, and that students of the town appreciate art. “In Cape Town the First Thursdays event is more about socialising, whereas here the people who pitch generally want to see art… and get free wine.”

Kimberley Titus, another featured artist, agrees that Stellenbosch residents support art but says, “I think there should be more opportunities like this one where artists who do not study visual arts get a chance to display their work.”

“This was the first Last Thursdays event I have attended. I love the good vibe and how it allows different artists to network with one another,” says Titus. – Tegan Mouton