Consultative Conference Declaration
“An Art Bank will be established to curate and display art works in public buildings. These works will be made available for sale and refreshed annually.”
Background to the project and its objectives
The purpose of the Art Bank of South Africa will be to identify and purchase contemporary visual art works from emerging and established South African artists. Such art works will be leased to targeted organisations, particularly South African government bodies, for display within their premises. Such targeted organisations include national departments and institutions, parastatals, as well as other public-sector bodies and private-sector listed and unlisted companies. There will be specific emphasis on the Art Bank’s involvement in leasing art to new government buildings. This involvement should be from the conceptualisation stage of such buildings. Typical areas for display include corporate and administration offices, reception areas, hotels, certain retail outlets, hospitals, clinics and call centres. This national model will further oversee the formalisation and establishment of national committees to regulate the art industry in terms of copyright and ownership laws.
The objectives of the Art Bank of South Africa are three-fold:
1. To be a national rental agency for contemporary South African art (artworks will be leased out for a minimum period of two years) that will:
o Promote, support and supplement the income of contemporary South African artists by creating a market for their work and moving them from a second economy to a first economy. By doing so social cohesion will be stimulated. This will also provide the opportunity for South African artists to receive exposure locally as well as internationally.
o Be a professional financially self-supporting entity, investing in South African contemporary art, with the added benefit of building up a collection of contemporary art for the South African government.
o Meet the art needs of government institutions and departments, as well as private clients, through the medium of South African contemporary art. Clients will be able to have a collection of original art in their offices, at a fraction of the purchasing cost, and will have the added benefit of being able to renew/refresh the art collection every two years.
2. To procure and curate art works in all public buildings, including government departments, government institutions and South African embassies around the world, on a bi-annual basis, to ensure that good-quality contemporary art works are displayed.
3. To allow for the exposure of artists in marketing their works, as this will further contribute to audience development and consumption of South African art.
A curatorial committee will be appointed to advise on curating the artwork leased by clients.
Employment opportunities created/to be created
Short-term employment will be generated for artists in the creation of art works to be purchased by the Art Bank.
It is estimated that the acquisition of 1 700 artworks at R10 000 and leveraging of a minimum of 2:3 will create income for practitioners through exposure to consumers.
Provinces, Regional/Local Municipalities
The Art Bank will be a national institution that will affect artists across all provinces. An acquisition committee, consisting of art experts, will be appointed to source and purchase art from all provinces. The DAC is working with the City of Johannesburg concerning the (now closed-down) Joburg Art Bank.
Major cooperative governance partners and stakeholder groups
o National Arts Council of South Africa (implementation and financial reporting)
o Business and Arts South Africa (advocacy partner for private sector engagement)
o Visual Arts Network of South Africa (consultation)
o South African National Visual Arts Association (consultation)
o Heritage institutions (consultation)
o Department of Public Works (implementation in government buildings)
o DIRCO (implementation in embassies and foreign offices)
o Johannesburg City Council (consultation on Joburg Art Bank)
o Private art galleries and agents/dealers (sourcing of works)
o Consultancies and artist organisations
o Tertiary institutions
Ms L Ndebele-Koka
Mr A Oberholzer