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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

South African Voices: A New Generation of Printmakers

Presented by Washington Printmakers Gallery & Vula Amehlo Art Development

2 – 26 January 2014
Exhibition Reception from 1-­‐4 p.m. on Saturday, January 11

Silver Spring, MD —Washington Printmakers Gallery (WPG) and Vula Amehlo Art Development are pleased to present “South African Voices: A New Generation of Printmakers” in January 2014. This invitational exhibition features numerous hand-pulled prints by more than 30 emerging artists from South Africa. Its content seeks to bridge the social, political and economic divides and to create mutual understanding between South Africa and the United States.

Although many of the participating artists have shown in South African solo and group shows, few of them have ever exhibited work outside of their country. This work transcends what is often defined as “African art” – deriving contemporary content from rural and township life or socio-political issues. Its substance defies generalization via diverse styles, techniques and subject matter.

Most whose prints are included in this exhibition come from poverty-stricken remote rural communities or from the more urban townships in and around Johannesburg – areas created under Apartheid’s separate development policy. This talented group of young artists, many of whom have won major printmaking awards, is committed to giving back to their communities despite their own scarce resources.

As they strive to support careers as full-time professional artists, these emerging South African artists are working part-time as gallery staff, teachers for children's art classes, art therapists, or printmaking instructors. Some have developed their own community-based studios or cooperatives, or joined printmaking studios as professional collaborative printers – printing work with William Kentridge, Wim Botha and other well-known South African artists.

Vula Amehlo has organized successful exhibitions in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa – both in traditional gallery spaces and in other environments. As it showcases artists who work in a range of printmaking mediums, Vula Amehlo is a fitting partner for Washington Printmakers Gallery, a cooperative organization that exhibits diverse printmaking techniques. "South African Voices" demonstrates this dynamic juxtaposition of creative thought and approach.

This cross-border collaboration reveals these South African artists as highly collectable world-class printmakers. As noble representatives of post-Apartheid South Africa, significant contributors to the international art landscape, and compelling champions for creative achievement – these poignant voices must be heard.

About Vula Amehlo Art Development
Vula Amehlo Art Development is an organization founded in early 2011. Located in Johannesburg, it promotes the work of young, emerging South African artists by holding exhibitions and by building their capacity to manage careers as professional artists through workshops and practical experience. visit vulaamehlo.wordpress.com.

Washington Printmakers Gallery | Pyramid Atlantic Art Center – Second Floor | 8230 Georgia Avenue | Silver Spring, Maryland | 20910 www.washingtonprintmakers.com

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