9 August 2018 – Tourism Update
Street art is not only an expression of the artist’s creativity, but of the spirit of the city
Cape Town has launched a large-scale street art project aimed at encouraging community tourism and furthering a better understanding of public art.
The pilot project involves local artists painting murals at public housing in four as yet unnamed areas across the city. It ends in June; where-after it will be expanded into a mural art programme aimed at developing emerging artists. “We will prioritise storytelling through murals by commissioning local artists; consult and collaborate with communities; transfer skills and develop community based artists and emerging artists,” explains Alderman JP Smith, the city’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security and Social Services.
“Public art brings cultural, social and economic value to neighbourhoods. It reflects our society and can enrich communities. As a creative city, we are committed to enabling all forms of public art, as well as nurturing and promoting local artists,” said Smith.
The project was conceptualised after the second annual International Public Arts Festival (IPAF), which took place in Cape Town last month. The IPAF was initiated by non-profit organization Baz-Art, which will now partner with the city’s Arts and Culture Department on the pilot project.
Smith says murals could play an important role in transforming spaces and communities all over Cape Town and in so doing, contribute to social and economic development. “With these murals, the city hopes to demonstrate ways in which art can contribute towards transformation, establish a positive and stronger neighbourhood identity, make art more accessible to everyone and improve our public facilities and spaces,” he says.