Radio personality and event organizer, Drew Letsebe Chadhall, says his trip to the World Design and Art Fair in Capetown, South Africa inspired his interest to represent and uplift Batswana in the art and design sector.
Central to his inspiration, is his affiliation with the Southern Africa Guild Art Association which was founded by Trevyn and Julian McGowe; a couple widely recognized for their support and advancement of African design. He is its member and says it will enable him to connect Botswana artists with the Southern African art and design market.
“Our art industry in Botswana has been given a back bench for too long, we have amazing organizations like Thapong and Botswana Society of the Arts who are really trying to help our artists, however they need help with the ground work, they need PR & Marketing addicts like us to help spread the word. Since the inception of Chillstep Sundays which is an event that promotes art & craft every last Sunday of the month, I got to realize that people love art, they appreciate the work and dedication put on a piece… I decided to really take charge and do something about it beyond the borders of Botswana,” he said.
Chadhall says he has been a member of the Guild for two years, “I have actually been a member for 2 years, this was after my trip at the World Design and Art Fair in Cape Town. The association represents many artists and promotes their art across the globe; they have galleries and African art as far as Miami, Los Angeles, Paris and Sweden. I was made a member by virtue of attending the high profile conference and taking part in most of the workshops,” he said. Guild membership can be acquired by attending the annual Guild Fair and World Design Conference.
His role, he says, is to share local artists’ work with the association, and give an update on work produced from Botswana, art fairs, gallery openings and events, something which allows local artists to network and exhibit their work at international fairs and galleries. Although he just started, Chadhall says he is currently representing Maungo Judy Blu of Art of the Blu, and hopes to attract more;
“We already have Pop Up BW which promotes youth owned small businesses, Chillstep Sundays which promotes art and therapeutic music and look forward to EDM LIVE PROJECTS which will represent our electro dance community and talent in Botswana. There are so many projects we are working on that will represent different types of talent in Botswana. I am tired of talent not going further than Botswana. Batswana are doing so much but with little appreciation by our corporate and government sectors…We have been blessed with so much talent that can sell our country and attract other investors and talent scouts of the world, why are we not investing in it?” he asked.
Chadhall encourages artists who wish to show their work at the biggest galleries and art fairs to register with Chillstep Sundays.