The Melrose Gallery – African Artistry At Its Finest


The Melrose Gallery is not at all what you expect it to be – a distinctly Pan African gallery space tucked away within the up-market Melrose Arch precinct. Representing acclaimed artists of the likes of  Dr Esther Mahlangu and Willie Bester, The Melrose Gallery is at the forefront of the exhibiting Pan African contemporary art scene. Visit them as soon as you can! 

 

The Melrose Gallery 

The Melrose Gallery first opened its doors in late 2016. Situated within the super urban Melrose Arch mixed-use precinct, the gallery provides respite from the bustling energies of the adjoining mall and business district. A surprisingly contemporary art space, the Melrose Gallery prides itself on showcasing Pan African art across a range of disciplines. From painting and photography, to sculpture and performance art, the gallery hosts regular exhibitions and extremely popular openings.

Melrose Gallery

The Start

While the gallery has only been in operation for a couple of years, the minds behind it have been hard at work in the art industry for well over a decade. The experienced team is made up of photographer Clint Strydom, curator Craig Mark and Justin Divaris, CEO of Daytona Group Holdings. Daytona is a shareholder in the gallery, as is Clint. This makes the Melrose Gallery one of the few artist-owned galleries in the city.

The gallery’s influence in the current contemporary art scene in Johannesburg is vast. Clint has worked with the likes of FIFA, Aston Martin International and Constitution Hill in his capacity as a photographer, while Craig has close ties to Iziko Museums of Africa as a director of Nature’s Best Photography Africa. Craig is also the director behind the ground breaking exhibitions ‘Space – Currencies in Contemporary African Art’ and ‘Impressions of Rorke’s Drift’.

From the outset, the Melrose Gallery sought to set itself apart from other contemporary art spaces in Joburg. Their close relationship with the Melrose Arch precinct has allowed for this, as they often break through the boundaries of the gallery space to bring art right into the streets. Large sculptural works, performance installations and exhibitions have flowed from the gallery into the public space of the precinct. In this way, The Melrose Gallery encourages the public to engage with art in a unique way. Ultimately, they embody the spirit of the city by promoting creativity, positivity and energy towards African art.

Melrose Gallery
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The Present

The Melrose Gallery is located along the High Street within the Melrose Arch Precinct. The gallery space welcomes visitors from the outside, with its large glass panel doors and window displays. However, the gallery space often moves out onto the streets, engaging with audiences of all backgrounds. This inclusive art space is definitely a hidden Joburg gem. So, next time you find yourself wandering around Melrose Arch, visit the gallery. You may be surprised by what you find.

The gallery is currently exhibiting their Winter Show featuring the likes of Dr Esther Mahlangu, Willie Bester, Vusi Khumalo, Carl Roberts, Christiaan Diedericks, Aza Mansongi and many more. Showcasing Pan African contemporary artworks, this exhibition is a must-visit for art enthusiasts. These works not only reflect modern African thought, but present our realities in a bright and beautiful way. Whether you are an admirer of fine art, abstraction or sculpture, there will be something to delight your senses. Entrance to the gallery is free, so you really have no excuse not to pop by.

In September 2019, the gallery will host the annual SculptX Fair. This is the largest annual sculpture focused fair in South Africa. We spoke to gallery director, Craig Mark about what to expect from this year’s fair:

“Over 80 sculptors have applied for this year’s fair, which promises to be the biggest one yet. Works will be displayed in the gallery, in the 8 000 sq m Daytona showroom, in the hotels, corporate offices and public spaces throughout the precinct in a celebration of sculpture, making a valuable contribution to art week and heritage month in Johannesburg,” he said.

For more information

For more information about The Melrose Gallery, click here. Or, follow them on social media for events and exhibition updates:

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Contact them on 083 777 6644 or via email at craig@themelrosegallery.com

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