Vuyo Mayesa – owner of the only art centre in Warrenton
Having a chat with the owner and manager of the only art centre (Ditshoswane Art Centre) in the small town of Warrenton, situated a few kilometres out of Kimberley, Quincy Vuyo Mayesa born and bred in Kimberley, tells Solomon Star how his love for art started and why he decided to build an art centre in one of the many under developed communities in the Northern Cape.
1. Tells us about your upbringing
I come from an artistic and creative family. I have always been surrounded by art, my father was a visual artist and he often took us with him to his studio. He also ensured that he took us to the William Humphreys Art Gallery in Kimberley whenever he went for his art classes. My late mother was a seamstress and textile designer. In addition to that, my father was an artist with many facets. Our family was quite complex and we were brought up with two creeds. My father was a Rastafarian while my paternal grandmother was a roman catholic.
2. What inspired you to open the Art Centre in Warrenton?
With unemployment and substance abuse on a rise, I saw a need for recreational activities for the young generation in the community. I realised that the artists in this community needed a space where they could express themselves and grow as artists. Secondly, the brand ‘Expression Culture’ needed a permanent home that would allow them to manifest their dreams for the African manifestation of a better Africa. It was also very important for me to create a community that is self-reliant, and that can thus take care of its own environment through art.
3. What is the social corporate function of the art centre?
The art centre serves as a socio-economic solution provider through cultural tourism, it also allows artist to create and present their work to the public.
4. How many employees are working at the centre?
At the moment, there are only part-time volunteers, these are community members who want to give back to their community by supporting this initiative.
5.What challenges have you come across thus far?
Funding and lack of resources are an ongoing struggle. There is also a slow response from artists in the community to come together to put the art centre to good use.
6.Tells us about the exhibitions and events you host?
The space is a multi-discipline platform that hosts a collection of sketches, we also host various cultural events.
7. What are your long term plans for this initiative?
The art centre is a stepping stone towards building a community hall, having a fully-fledged community library and eventually building our own school. In the community of Ikhutseng, there is only one community hall and this stifles recreational initiatives in the community. The library becomes over crowded at peak hours and there are only four schools; three intermediate and one high school. Consequently, the schools are overcrowded and this affects the teaching and learning processes in the classroom. The end goal is to collectively improve the community that we live in bit by bit.