The KwaZulu-Natal Society of Arts, founded in 1902 and located in Glenwood, Durban was initially established as an informal opportunity for artists to discuss, exhibit and market their work. Over the next century the organization experienced tremendous growth and underwent a number of radical transformations, and today it is KZN’s premier contemporary art gallery, hosting exhibitions of local, national and international importance.
There are a number of components to the organization, including the gallery, shop and Arts Café. The shop develops and markets one hundred percent local only craft and design and is also an important outlet in the province for design from the rest of the country. However, the key component of the organization is its gallery exhibitions and public education programmes. The Main, Mezzanine, and Park Galleries offer exhibition spaces ranging from the epic to the intimate, including a range of digital projection facilities. Accompanying these exhibitions is a diverse public education programme including artist and curator walkabouts, catalogues and other publications, seminars and specialist conferences.
The KZNSA is a not-for-profit, member-based, public benefit organization, and has recently gained Section 18 A Status. In effect, this classifies the KZNSA as an arts and culture education service provider. It is governed by a democratically elected council, with specialist sub-committees. This places the KZNSA in a unique position, straddling the divide between non-profit contemporary public art space on the one hand, and a gallery that has the benefit of the artist in mind, on the other. This unique position presents many exciting challenges to an organization that serves the interests of a broad community of artists and that is committed to an ethos of Transformation, Incubation and Activation.
Angela Shaw heads operations at the KZNSA and Sheryl Msomi is the current president of the KZNSA Council. Council office bearers are Russel Hlongwane (Vice President), Jason Fiddler (Treasurer) and Rachel Matsha (Secretary).
The KZNSA is a registered non-profit organization, reg no. 004-833 NPO, and is registered with SARS as a Public Benefit Organization (PBO) 18/11/13/2597
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