Campus Library home to more than just books
The well-known writer and actor, Oscar Wilde once lamented that the art of living can be found in the beauty of art. If this is rings true, then the Campus Library of the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal Triangle) is much more than a mere collection of knowledge and expertise. Why? In celebration of the success of the Gallery on the Staircase various artists from across the Vaal Triangle region recently raised their glasses (and their paintbrushes) in a celebratory toast and by doing so re-committed themselves to the continued support of art – especially local talent.
The Gallery on the Staircase came into being two years ago after the completion of an intensive infrastructure upgrading process at the library and, hence the name of the gallery the artworks are displayed on the big steel staircase of the three story library building. The main aim of the gallery was to showcase local talent to the public but because of the popularity thereof the gallery is now regarded as a symbol of the commitment and support of the campus towards encouraging local artists.
The second anniversary of the Gallery on the Staircase was recently celebrated with great artistic flair.
According to Me Hendra Pretorius, the Library Manager, the response to the gallery was “overwhelming” and according to her this initiative has succeeded in creating awareness towards art and serves as a much needed creative stimuli to the students making use of the library. Initially the initiative aimed to reach 20 artists from the region, but up till now more than 200 works of art have found their way to the library. Artworks range from photography, abstract art, sketches and colourful paintings.
Students admiring some of the artwork on display.
According to Me Anna-Marie Müller, owner of An-Mari’s Art Gallery and one of the founding members of the initiative, the Gallery on the Staircase should be viewed as a celebration of creativity and a reflection of the ethos of art. “In Europe art is only accessible to the elite and Joe Public can derive no joy from it whereas in South Africa we are blessed to be surrounded by art and our access to art should sensitise us to the wonder of the creation” says Müller.
Childrens Art is also currently on display at the library.
The Gallery on the Staircase is currently showcasing artworks from various artists – some as young as five years, from Cecil’s Studion in Vanderbijlpark. Well-known artists who have exhibited their work in the library includes Cecile Muller, Charlotte Bresser, Nell Marais and Omega. The artworks can be viewed from 09:00 to 20:00 on Mondays to Thursdays and from 09:00 to 17:00 on Fridays.
Published by Sipho Msolo on 17 November 2010.