Art in the City 

WORDS Jo Buitendach PHOTOS Alexander Smith; Nandipha Mntambo courtesy Everard Read Gallery; Liam van der Heever courtesy of EBONY CURATED; Nelson Makamo courtesy Nelson Makamo Studio; Ogorogile Nong; Alastair Mclachlan; Supplied

The city of gold comes alive this weekend with two unmissable art events.

There will be no grumbling that there’s nothing to do in Joburg this weekend, as the city explodes with not one but two major art gatherings, The RMB Latitudes Art Fair and Contra.Joburg. 

RMB Latitudes Art Fair

The RMB Latitudes Art Fair returns to Joburg for a second year, from the 24th to the 26th May. Galleries and artists from South Africa and further afield will showcase their art at Shepstone Gardens. This curated celebration of African art aims to create a collaborative and unique art ecosystem, which is inclusive, accessible, and uniquely African. The beautifully lush three-acre venue will be divided into different hubs and spaces, from Marble Halls to secret gardens and rooftop pavilions and includes some yummy food and wine too. 

RMB Latitudes Art Fair

40 galleries and 250 artists will be taking part, including international and African galleries from Germany, Spain, and London, as well as Nigeria, Uganda, Egypt, and Botswana. And of course, loads of local favourites are participating too, including Everard Read, Gallery MOMO and Kalashnikovv Gallery, to name just a few. There is something for the design fans too, as Pichulik, Guillotine Design, Romaria Knitwear, Studio Kalki and The Herd will be on hand for some much-needed retail therapy. 

Worth a special mention is ESSAY, a project that focuses on the dream-like work and artistic lives of artist couple, Wendy Vincent and Geoffrey Armstrong. Co-curated by Vincent Truter and Lucy MacGarry, it brings together select pieces from a body of work created over the past 25 years, in the couple’s Magaliesburg Rock Garden. The exhibition of eight prints and four paintings by Vincent and four sculptures by Armstrong, is a dialogue with each other, their rock garden landscape, and their exploration of natural phenomena. 

Latitudes has a great line-up of events, including walkabouts, talks and lectures, and an exciting children’s programme hosted by the IMBALI Visual Literacy Projects and Akasha School. 

Tickets are R300, and kids are R50 |


Also, up this weekend, and just as exciting is Contra.Joburg which takes place on the 25th and 26th May. This one-of-a-kind event offers an amazing opportunity for Jozi residents to get out in their city and immerse themselves in art. 13 artist studios and 200 artists will be taking part and for the collectors (and wannabee collectors), artworks start at a reasonable R1000. 


Ticket price includes a safe and easy hop-on hop-off shuttle service so you don’t have to worry about finding your way around the busy city. Just some of the participating spaces are August House, the Rand Club, Victoria Yard, Ellis House, and Nando’s Central Kitchen

Founder and organizer Sara Hallatt says “If we operate from the belief that art is important in society, then we need to support artists. Artists don’t get paid to make, and they make everything at risk.  Contra.Joburg aims to change that for many artists who are working across the city of Joburg.”   

Each day has a different programme and activities that include exhibitions, printing workshops, graffiti tours and demonstrations, an interactive kid’s area, walkabouts, panel discussions and jazz.  

Two noteworthy events are Art, Wine, and Design at Nandos’ Central Kitchen on Sunday 26 May. Take a tour of Nando’s head office which boasts a plethora of local design, or enjoy an art, design, and wine experience, where you can meet designers, taste some wine, and explore Creative Block artworks. 

Or why not join the Red bus hop-on hop-off tour with Thabo the Tourist on Saturday 25 May, which takes place on the open top CitySightseeing bus and includes visits to artist studios and art destinations participating in Contra.Joburg, before winding its way to the RMB Latitudes Art Fair. 

Tickets start from R85, different venues are open on different says. Ticket holders must register for each venue |

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