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What’s on at WAM February to April 2019

For any queries, email or call 011 717 1378 or 011 717 1664. All events are proudly sponsored by Merrill Lynch SA and Business Arts South Africa and are free to attend.


Music at WAM this First Thursday

Thursday, 7 February, 19h00.

Printmakers love the focused, labour-intensive processes of lithographic printmaking. Curator Boitumelo Tlhoaele, and journalist, editor and DJ Charles Leonard will be experimenting with communicating this experience in an innovative and experimental music performance. It is inspired by the current exhibition at Wits Art Museum titled The Art of Lithography: A Collaborative Expression of LL Editions. Free. No booking required. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis. 

Compose Yourself: Drop in Drawing with Dr Alison Kearney

Saturday, 9 February, 12h00.

Explore fundamental artmaking skills during Drop in Drawing this year. This month we kick off with composition. After looking at new additions to the WAM collection you will learn how to arrange visual elements in an artwork.

Valentine’s Day at WAM

Thursday, 14 February, 10h00 -16h00.

Want to impress your date this Valentine’s Day? Bring your Mr, Ms or Mx to Wits Art Museum for a uniquely romantic experience. Entrance is free.

Family Compositions: Family Talkabout with Kamal Naran

Saturday, 16 February, 12h00.

Families will create hands-on art projects inspired by discussion and activities in the museum galleries. This month, look at new additions to the Wits Art Museum collection and explore examples of African creativity and composition.

Leshoka Joe Legate and participating artists Talkabout

Saturday, 23 February, 12h00.

Join the Master Printmaker who founded LL Editions five years ago along with some of the participating artists on the show. They will discuss the collaborative and creative processes involved in producing the work currently on exhibition.


First Thursday: Let’s really talk … through art at WAM

Thursday, 7 March, 19h00

Art provides a unique platform for having meaningful, connected conversations.This innovative event is part of a formal exchange programme between Wits and the State University of New York (SUNY) at Oneonta students. You will participate in an expertly facilitated discussion with the students, and experience how artworks can be interpreted and understood in a myriad of ways. Participate in a conversation around art that might lead you to new ways of seeing the world and the opportunity to clarify our own thinking. Absolutely no background in art is required. The event takes place in the current exhibition of recent acquisitions to the WAM collection. Experience how artworks come alive when we share our interpretations with others.

A Study in Colour: Drop in Drawing with Dr Alison Kearney

Saturday, 9 March, 12h00.

Explore the potential of drawing in colour with Dr Alison Kearney. You will look at The Art of Lithography: A Collaborative Expression of LL Editions exhibition. There are lithographic prints by 24 contemporary artists on the exhibition for you to contemplate. 

Colour Me Red, Yellow and Blue:  Family Talkabout with Kamal Naran

Saturday, 16 March, 12h00.

This month, look at the use of colour in the exhibition The Art of Lithography: A Collaborative Expression of LL Editions. Learn how expert lithographer Leshoka Joe Legate and the artists he collaborates with employ colour in their work. Then experiment with making your own colour prints. 

HotH Talkabout with WAM Special Projects Curator Fiona Rankin-Smith

Saturday, 23 March, 12h00.

The permanent collections of Wits Art Museum, which include historical and contemporary African art, are constantly evolving and growing. This exhibition highlights artworks acquired since 2016. Join WAM’s Special Projects Curator for insights into WAM’s collection procedures and the artworks.

Opening event: Jack Ginsberg Centre for the Book Arts Inaugural Exhibition

Saturday 26 March, 18h30

Artist’s books are artworks in the form of books rather than books about art. Art collector and philanthropist Jack Ginsberg began collecting in this field in the early 1970’s, almost from the inception of this contemporary art form. He recently donated this world-renowned collection to Wits Art Museum, which includes more than 3 000 artworks plus thousands of additional items related to the field of book arts. A dedicated centre has been established to accommodate the collection and this celebratory opening exhibition will include a selection from this magnificent addition to WAM’s archive.

Special Introduction to the Book Arts. A Talkabout with Jack Ginsberg

Saturday 30 March, 12h00

For one thrilling hour, join art collector and philanthropist Jack Ginsberg and learn about the field of book arts.  You will see a selection of book arts from one of the biggest collections in the Southern Hemisphere. He recently donated more than 3 000 book arts items to Wits Art Museum, which are now housed in a dedicated space at the museum.


Opening Event: Albert Adams - An Invincible Spirit

Tuesday, 2 April, 18h30

WAM is celebrating the 90th anniversary of the birth of Johannesburg-born, but neglected artist Albert Adams, with a major exhibition. Adams was refused entry to Michaelis School of Fine Art at UCT because of Apartheid, but went on to study at the Slade School of Art in London, the University of Munich, under Oskar Kokoschka and lecture in Art History at City University, London for 18 years. Although he left South Africa in 1960 he visited frequently and consistently returned to the depiction of themes related to his country of birth. Often expressionist in style, his work displays a deep social commitment and searing commentary. Subject matter includes powerful reflections on the outcasts of society, incarceration, the dark side of celebration and religious imagery. 

First Thursday at WAM

Thursday, 4 April, closes at 21h00

First Thursdays is a free public event. Art galleries and cultural events in and around Johannesburg are open until late. Come and view Wits Art Museum latest exhibitions.

Using the Jack Ginsberg Centre for Book Arts for teaching with Dr Alison Kearney and Jack Ginsberg

Saturday 6 April, 10h00

Dr Alison Kearney will be facilitating an event for teachers (primary and secondary school) on ways to use the museum’s collection for teaching. This event will focus on the collection of book arts, which are artworks in the form of books rather than books about art. The Jack Ginsberg Centre for the Book Arts is a dedicated centre that has been established to accommodate the recently donated collection of 3 000 items. Our special guest, Jack Ginsberg, will be demonstrating the wonderful ways that these books can inspire learning across the curriculum.

Exploring Texture: Drop in Drawing with Bronwen Findlay

Saturday, 13 April, 12h00.

Texture in art stimulates the senses of sight and touch and can communicate a myriad of different messages and emotions. Come and look closely at Albert Adams’ application of paint in the latest WAM exhibition. Then explore texture in your own drawing. Don’t be intimidated if you have no previous drawing experience. Just come! and enjoy a creative hour. Free for all.

Play with Texture: Family Talkabout with Kamal Naran

Saturday, 20 April, 12h00.

Soft, hard, silky, prickly, lumpy, gritty. Have fun exploring surface in your artwork. You’ll be inspired by the variety of textures found in the exhibition of Albert Adams’ work and spend quality time with your family.

WAM is closed Saturday 27 April for the public holiday. There will be no public Talkabout this month


Wits Art Museum Address:

Corner Bertha (extension of Jan Smuts Avenue) and Jorissen streets, Braamfontein, Johannesburg

Opening hours:

Tuesday to Saturday 10h00 - 16h00
Tel (Mon - Fri): 011 717 1365. Tel (Sat - Sun): 011 717 1358