The Gallery, a pop-up Art Gallery and Exhibition, showcasing the work of the local art community, will close its doors at the end of its second exhibition on 9 March 2020.
The Gallery opened at The Studios at Lifestyle Centre in Ballito on 11 December 2020. Originally intended to run until the end of April, it showcased two exhibitions and became a creative and social hub during its tenure, attracting everyone from coffee-lovers and workshop enthusiasts to creative artists and eager learners. The twofold vision for it to provide a platform for local artists to showcase their talent and for it to be a spacious, inviting and interactive gallery for locals and visitors to Ballito to appreciate and obtain the finest artworks from local artists on the Dolphin Coast and beyond, was realised during the 3-month pop-up venture. Local artist Jane Digby, who curated the exhibitions and spearheaded many of the interactive workshops, has expressed her gratitude to everyone involved. “Thank you to everyone who made The Gallery possible – to Bruce Rencken for your unprecedented generosity; to Lifestyle Centre Ballito for all of your support; to our staff for your reliable dedication and hard work; to all of the artists that made every exhibition possible; and, of course, to our community – we couldn’t have done any of this without all of your enthusiasm and support! You welcomed us with such warmth and open arms, it would be impossible to try and explain how elated and proud we are to have given you such an interactive, exciting and alluring space,” she said.
Lifestyle Centre owner, Bruce Rencken, applauded the work of Jane and her team. “It has been amazing how we managed to transform the empty shell of The Studios into a world-class space and how Jane has worked with energy and enthusiasm to promote the cause of the arts on the North Coast. It is clear that art and creativity is good for the soul and we would definitely like to include art in some form in The Studios.”
The Gallery’s social media pages will continue to showcase local arts and creative workshops in the community, so art lovers can continue following them on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/thegallerylifestyle) or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/thegallerylifestyle/).
Now that The Gallery pop-up has come to an end, the original plans for The Studios, unable to be brought to fruition due to the impact of the coronavirus and lockdown last year, will go ahead. The intention is to develop the space to incorporate an eclectic mix of bespoke stores and personalised spaces to deliver an interesting and intimate shopping experience. “Plenty of glass, steel and natural materials will provide a stunning backdrop to showcase a variety of interesting retail offerings. This will be a space in which you indulge, treat and appreciate yourself,” explained Rencken.
As is the case with The Market and Eat Street, The Studios will provide another platform for local businesses to showcase their offerings in a handsomely constructed and interactive setting which will continue to add to the personality of Lifestyle Centre.
The Ardmore Ceramics and Design store will remain in The Studios, as will The Coffee Lab. Barista and owner, Sbusiso Nkolothi, has gained a loyal following during the last 3 months and will continue to ply his trade outside The Studios during its development.
“We are confident that this special new space will become another meeting point for Ballito and will create the connection that we have been missing in completing the flow of retail right throughout Lifestyle Centre,” said Rencken.
Watch a video which reflects a realistic flythrough of what to expect at The Studios: