Experience Resilience Norval Foundation

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Category: Best Practice - Continuity, Best Practice - Travel


Published: March 25, 2020

Cape Town and the Western Cape is a famous destination for Arts and Culture, with the province boasting a rich history and heritage. The destination is home to some of the most significant art collections in the world and is very much the arts hub of the African continent.

From museums like the District Six Museum to the Zeitz MOCAA Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, locals and visitors alike have always been spoilt for choice. But like all venues that rely on foot traffic, museums and art galleries around the country were forced to close in light of the National State of Disaster declared by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on March 15.

As part of the declaration, public gatherings of more than 100 people were banned by government, forcing businesses that rely on visitors and large gatherings needed to think quickly. It was no different for those in the gallery space. The Norval Foundation in Cape Town has had 16 exhibitions since opening their doors and has quickly become a favourite for those seeking the arts. When the extraordinary measures were put in place, the Norval Foundation moved swiftly to keep the doors ‘open’ to visitors by moving to a virtual space. The venue took to YouTube to provide audiences with a novel way of viewing what is on offer.

Norval’s Virtual Tour allowed anybody to to view the building, Skotnes Restuarant, the shop and sculpture garden. But more importantly, they began profiling the art and artists that were on show at the venue to ensure that not only did consumers of the arts continue their viewing pleasure, but that the artists on display were able to showcase their works.

The Norval Foundation’s mission statement is that it “is a centre for art and cultural expression. Dedicated to the research and exhibition of 20th- and 21st-century visual art from South Africa and beyond. We aim to create high-quality exhibitions and public programming to broaden our understanding of the visual arts.”

Their swift adaptation in the face of adversity proved just how committed they are to ensure that the work they curate continues to be shown to South Africans and beyond., regardless of the climate they may face.Watch their #60secondliveart here.

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