Thapong Visual Arts Center last week Friday officially opened the Thapong Member’s Exhibition (TME) which is one of the initiatives carried out to prepare artists for the upcoming Thapong Artist of the Year Awards (TAYA). In the local arts scene the annual TAYA is one of the most honoured and recognised award ceremony and it usually takes place towards the end of the year. The exhibition which was open to all categories featured a varied selection of artworks that were up for critique, admiration and advice on how best artists can improve their work.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, Thapong Coordinator Reginald Bakwena said, “Thapong Members Exhibitions aims to promote works of artists who are affiliated with the gallery. The exhibition offers them a platform to exhibit their works in preparation for the upcoming awards. Artist’s artworks need critique so they grow and learn, and that can only happen if they take this exhibition seriously and treat it as they would TAYA. We do not have any judging at this exhibition, but is a fun and interactive show for the artists and key industry players.”
Further, Bakwena explained that the standard and quality of artworks submitted have improved significantly and he commended and encouraged artists to continue improving their work. “However, my concern is that most artist’s artworks are disqualified in competitions due to minor issues like incorrect labeling. So this is the kind of exhibition that is meant to mend all these minor mistakes so they are not spotted in bigger events like TAYA,” he said.
For her part one of the board members at Thapong, Lolo Mmadikgetla said, “On behalf of Thapong board members we want artists to be comfortable to showcase their works in local and global platforms, that is why there is the Thapong Members Exhibition. Showcasing your work is not just about showing how talented you are but you should also be able to communicate with your work, let it speak for itself and sell it further. We also want artists to not view their work as just a small piece of work on the wall but a value creation to our economy.”