First Thursdays at Keyes Art Mile

28 May 2024
For the first Thursday of June (Jun 6 from 17:00) there's no better place to be than the vibrant Keyes Art Mile.

Commemorating Youth Month in South Africa, The Manor brings work by photographers Lebogang Tlhako and Mikhailia Petersen together for Sibadala Sibancane in the Annex. The synergy between these two artists represents what it means to be a young woman in this country.

A floral fancy graces Gallery 1 with a selection of still lives with flowers; a visual feast featuring work ranging from inimitable greats including Irma Stern and Alexis Preller to contemporary artist Laura Windvogel aka Lady Skollie. With this newfound inspiration, join a free workshop in the Atrium to create your own masterpiece. Meanwhile, also at Gallery 1, get a signed copy of David Mann's debut short story collection Once Removed; a probing and witty window into the South African art world.

The regular Unlocking Your Collection event at Origin Art is your entry into the wonderful world of art collecting, and don't forget to bring your brainiest friends along for their art quiz. On the gallery's walls, the group show Exploring Figurative Expressions unpacks identity, memory, and the universal human experience.

When it comes to food and drinks, Keyes doesn't disappoint. Head to Freshly Ground to sample their expanded menu or try Kanpai, where the glam selfie crowd hangs out sipping on good cocktails. If something sweet is what you're after, Pantry is your go-to for affordable soft serve. Then round the night off with a DJ set at MIX Cocktail Bar.

Keep reading for the details.

The paradox of youth 

Sibadala Sibancane explores life as a young South African through the lenses of Mikhailia Petersen and Lebogang Tlhako. Photo: Lebogang Tlhako.

Ahead of June 16th or Youth Day, when we remember the Soweto Uprising of 1976, The Manor's dual exhibition Sibadala Sibancane comes to Keyes Art Mile's Annex space. Together, Katlehong-born photographer Lebogang Tlhako, popularly known as Sisterbozza, and Cape Town-based storyteller Mikhailia Petersen, explore the complexities of growing up and being a young person in South Africa. 

According to the exhibition text, it's about "the paradoxical nature of children in South Africa, often engaging in role-playing games and mimicking adulthood through activities like playing house and dress-up. However, this playful imitation reflects a deeper societal trend, where young individuals are compelled to adopt adult roles and responsibilities at an early age due to living circumstances. Sibadala Sibancane reflects on how children, in their innocence, idolise their parents and the idea of being in control of life, more by force than choice."

Sibadala Sibancane runs until Wed, Jun 12.

In full bloom

A still life of a Jug with Nasturiums and Apples on a table
A Still Life of a Jug with Nasturiums and Apples on a Table by Maggie Laubser. Photo: Supplied.

The still life is an age-old genre in painting, with too many greats to name. While we're heading into winter in Joburg, Keyes Art Mile counters with a dose of warmth and colour at Gallery 1 with the whimsical showcase, Still Lives and FlowersClaude Bouscharain's Night Bloom, Irma Stern's Still Life with Magnolias and PumpkinsLady Skollie's Rotten Stalk, Maggie Laubser's Goose and Arums, and Alexis Preller's A Rose are a few of the works to look forward to. 

Once Removed book signing 

Grab your copy of Once Removed and meet the author at Gallery 1. Photo: David Mann.
In his debut collection of short stories, David Mann traverses the theatres, artist studios, and archives that characterise the world of contemporary art and performance, while zeroing in on the homes, private lives, daily journeys, and emotional interiorities of his written characters.

"Once Removed is for readers familiar with the worlds of art and performance, and those for whom it is completely foreign. A reader doesn’t need to be immersed in the world of artists, critics, exhibitors, gallerists, or academics to access the collection, and to enjoy the imbalances, precarity, hilarity, and possibilities represented in it," Mann explains. Copies of Once Removed will be on sale at Gallery 1, where you can chat with Mann about the work and get your book signed. Read our latest #MyJoburg interview with David Mann here

Create a floral-inspired still life

Inspired by the masterworks on show at Gallery 1, House of Special Things invites you to create your own still-life artwork based on the floral installations in the Atrium. The workshop runs from 18:00 – 20:00 on a first-come, first-serve basis – provided there's space, you can join anytime. All the works created will be eligible for submission to the Keyes' Maker of the Month initiative. 

Art and shared humanity

Memory, identity, and the human experience are themes in Origin Art's new group show. Photo: Tarien Engelbrecht.

Artists Tarien EngelbrechtNicolene JoffeMokoena Mositi (aka $kyline), Masindi MbolekwaEdward WakefieldHeike Allerton, and Sue Martin coalesce around themes of memory and identity, exploring what it means to be human in the group show Exploring Figurative Expressions at Origin Art. 

Exploring Figurative Expressions runs until Sat, Jun 8

Kick-start your collection

Grow your art collection with an affordable art sale. Photo: Origin Art. 

Discover masterpieces that won't break the bank with Unlocking Your Collection at Origin Art. There'll be quality art to suit every pocket across mediums and styles, with nothing over R5,000. In addition to the diverse collection on show, this is a chance to engage with the artists themselves and discover the stories behind the works that speak to you. There'll also be practical tips and tricks for beginning and growing your art collection. In the often intimidating world of art, Unlocking Your Collection is a deliberate step towards welcoming art lovers of all levels into the fold.

Art history buffs, this way

Origin Art hosts another wonderfully engaging Art Quiz, a super way to test your art knowledge. Bring the best of what you know and some quality friends who can tell their Impressionism from their Abstraction. It's loads of fun and there are great prizes to be won. For this edition, the spotlight will be on famous personalities. 

Where to eat and drink

Try Freshly Ground's expanded menu (now including drinks) at First Thursdays at Keyes Art Mile. Photo: Freshly Ground.

While art is front and centre at First Thursdays, you certainly won't be leaving hungry given all that Keyes has to offer on the dining front. Enjoy beautifully crafted sushi at the Japanese-fusion restaurant Kanpai or giant tiger prawns on the hibachi grill at The Prawnery. Book via Dineplan. Freshly Ground has an expanded menu and now serves drinks. For a tried and true favourite, add tasty Asian street food to the line-up at Momo Kuro on the top floor of the Trumpet building, or try the ramen at Momo's street-level store. Unwind with sunset drinks at Marble (also in the swanky Trumpet building), and if soft serve is your thing, head down the parking lot stairs to The Pantry. At just 18 bucks a pop, you'll be glad we told you.

Easy beats at MIX Cocktail Bar

Always great sounds at Keyes Art Mile's MIX Cocktail Bar. Photo: MESH Club.
Always great sounds at Keyes Art Mile's MIX Cocktail Bar. Photo: MESH Club.

Once you've caught up with all the Keyes art offerings, head upstairs to MIX Cocktail Bar at MESH Club for fancy cocktails and a good time, with a live DJ set.

Still in the mood for art? Click here for all the exhibitions you need to see this week.

Momo Kuro

Trumpet (top floor), Keyes Art Mile, 21 Keyes Ave, Rosebank


Connect via social media
google sign in button
Leave a comment using your email This e-mail address is not valid
Please enter your name*

Please share your location

Enter your message*
Put our app in your pocket
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here. AGREE