An exhibition with a whiff of township art is on at the Ann Bryant Art Gallery in East London.

These artworks form part of the East London Fine Art Society's annual exhibition at the gallery, one of the city's landmarks. Speaking at the opening of the exhibition on Thursday, 23 November, the society's chairman, Amitabh Mitra, said that this year the society wanted to promote young township artists.

"This year we wanted an exhibition with a difference; we went to the townships and took work from artists and brought [it] to this exhibition. We wanted this exhibition to be more developmental."

Image shown above: From left to right, East London Fine Art Society Chairman, Amitabh Mitra and member of the society Terry Flynn (far right) present an artwork to Eastern Cape MEC for Finance Billy Nel

Mitra said he also wanted to sell Border artists to international audiences, like the United States. "I am the editor of the Hudson View Poets and Poets Express, an electronic publication where poets from around the world gather to share their creative expression. Our pages [are] filled with poems and art from poets and artists from around the world," he said. "I want our local artists to be featured in this journal."

The guest of honour at the opening, MEC for finance Billy Nel, echoed Mitra's sentiments, saying that he was impressed with the art works on display. "Art has really evolved since the dawn of the new democracy and I feel that we need to find a way to sell our artists to international markets. I am impressed with the 129 art works here and feel that these art societies are really needed if we want our art to be successful."

Nel pledged the government's support to artists in the province. "Our premier loves art and I want to say she would be more than happy to assist where she can. I want to commend the society for involving young artists from townships and informal settlements. The art here is really tremendous," Nel concluded.

The exhibition closes on 10 December. For more information about the gallery and future exhibitions phone 043 722 4044, email the gallery here or visit the gallery at St Marks Road in Southernwood, East London.

24 November 2006
Article from Buffalo City Municipality website