First Festival of Art to give undiscovered artists a platform

[FEATURED] As art feeds the soul of society, so too can it change the lives of its creators. It’s with this ethos in mind that the Festival of Art was founded to provide a platform for undiscovered and underprivileged artists to showcase their work.

Set to make its mark on the Western Cape social calendar in the scenic Franschhoek region on 17 and 18 March, the festival will also feature revered South African artists at each of its three venues – Selwyn Pekeur at Bridge House, Nanette Ranger at Eikehof and Ronald West at La Bri.

The festival – the brainchild of Stella Romanis– was first conceived six years ago after she took up painting, having left the corporate world due to breast cancer. It was during this time that Stella realised that there was a wealth of undiscovered talents in the country who needed a platform.

Stella was later joined by team members Jenna Wilson, Ivor Pietersen and Hayley Pieters. In collaboration with Outliers – an organisation with a network of 86 volunteer-driven initiatives and after-school programmes across various disadvantaged areas in the Western Cape – “16 underprivileged, extremely talented artists were sponsored by Festival of Art with stands and supplies to assist them in exposing their talent,” explains Stella.

“These artists have had no formal training and in some cases, use ball-point pens or pencils. We also contacted Selwyn Pekeur, an artist who is involved in mentoring his young disadvantaged peers, and others we sourced via word of mouth,” she added.

In terms of the locations, Stella explains that it was quite a challenge as they could not afford to pay for venues. “We basically knocked on doors, sent mails, tried to get appointments via friends and finally, we came across three venues that are just as in love with art and undiscovered artists as we are. All three of our venues are absolutely wonderful!”

The festival is unique as it puts emphasis on offering an interactive experience with painters, sculptors, potters, musicians, dancers, violinists and much more. “Artists will also be painting, sculpting, etc at the festival. The idea is to have people interact with art in a fun way, providing them with the opportunity to reconnect with art and the artistic process,” says Stella.

The festival promises to cater for families, with children under 12 enjoying free entrance and lots to keep them entertained, including a “fairyland” at Bridge House.

To purchase your festival tickets visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *