An oudtshoorn institution: Art Karoo

With a commitment to the Karoo that equals its commitment to fine art, Oudtshoorn Art Karoo gallery stocks paintings, ceramics, jewellery and sculptures created by artists working in, or inspired by, the Klein Karoo. The area is a rich source of stimulation for a creative community that produces original Karoo art.

The Karoo, a semi-arid area that covers over 400 000 square kilometres, is an endless source of inspiration for writers, poets and painters. The small towns of the Karoo attract many artists. Using various media, they work to capture its sense of place, inspired by its history, people and geography.

Over the years, the town of Oudtshoorn has developed a reputation for, among other things, its commitment to promoting art and artists. At the forefront of this is Art Karoo, an Oudtshoorn art gallery that features work created by artists living and working in the area.

In fact, the community’s involvement in this Karoo art gallery has been a major part of its success: ‘it thrives on their sense of ownership and participation,’ says gallery owner and artist, Dr. Janet Dixon.

The Art Karoo gallery represents a number of leading local artists, such as Lisl Barry, Hein Botha, Ina Marx and Etienne Van Zyl, amongst many others. The gallery also supports young artists from the area who are finding their way in the art world. Its exhibition programme is made up of a dynamic and varied mix of artists, subjects and themes and is a welcome commercial outlet for Karoo artists and art lovers.

Art Karoo is also a returning contributor to the Klein Karoo Klassique and the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, 2 major events onSouth Africa’s arts and entertainment calendar. The gallery also facilitates Art Karoo Outdoors, outdoor ‘art therapy’ that aims to instill a sense of the Karoo’s tranquility in its particiants. The gallery provides the teaching, paint, canvasses and brushes, while the Karoo’s landscape and fresh air provide the rest.

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