What’s happening at APS this June

What’s happening at APS this June

Artist Proof Studio and The Bag Factory Artists’ Studio are thrilled to announce the commencement of the RMB Talent Unlocked initiative for 2024! Sponsored by Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), this collaborative program aims to nurture and empower emerging artists in South Africa. Running from May to July, the initiative will culminate in an exhibition of the artists' final artworks at RMB’s Art & About Gallery.  

The RMB Talent Unlocked programme includes mentorship from established artists and industry professionals, workshops covering business skills, marketing, and portfolio development, and opportunities for exhibitions and networking. This year, 24 talented artists were selected from nearly 100 applicants from Gauteng. APS is hosting 12 participants specializing in Drawing, Painting, and Printmaking. The Bag Factory is hosting 6 participants who focus on Painting and Drawing, while the Umhlabathi Collective is hosting 6 participants specializing in Photography. Throughout June and July, we will be following the journey of these participants, showcasing their progress in preparation for the exhibition. 

“We believe that the arts play a critical role in our education and society. The arts enrich our lives and are vital to a vibrant economy. Those who are key to their creation should be assisted in whatever sustainable way possible. RMB Talent Unlocked supports this purpose fully." says RMB creative counsel, Carolynne Waterhouse.  

This commitment from Rand Merchant Bank highlights their dedication to fostering the growth and success of emerging artists, ensuring a vibrant and dynamic arts sector. 

"Layers of Meaning" at Origin Art Exhibition Opening 

Join us for the opening of "Layers of Meaning" on Saturday, 15 June, at 12pm at Origin Art. This collaborative show between Artist Proof Studio and Origin Art features a variety of print works, each with its own unique story. Enjoy live printmaking demonstrations and explore the layers of meaning behind each piece. The event will be held at Origin Art, located at Keyes Art Mile, 19 Keyes Ave, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196.

Don't miss the First Thursday event on 4 July, where you can see more printmaking demonstrations. We look forward to seeing you there and sharing this unique artistic experience!

Artist Proof Studio Printmaking Education Programme

The first-year students at the Artist Proof Studio have just completed their second term, focusing on perspective drawing. This essential skill helps artists accurately depict three-dimensional objects on a flat surface. During this term, students practiced one-point and two-point perspective, working on various exercises like drawing geometric shapes and still lifes. These exercises aimed to improve their observational accuracy and enhance their overall drawing skills. 

The assessment process evaluated the students' ability to understand and apply perspective principles. Their submissions included line drawings and tonal studies, showcasing their skills in creating depth and space in their compositions. The evaluation focused on technical skill, craftsmanship, and the ability to incorporate feedback. Completing this term's coursework has provided the students with a solid foundation in perspective drawing, preparing them for more advanced projects in the future. 

APS First Year on Drypoint Technique Exploration  

In the second term of their first year, students at the Artist Proof Studio learned about drypoint printmaking. This technique involves scratching images onto plates and creating prints that capture fine details and textures. The module taught students how to transfer their drawings onto plates, explore different line weights, and produce high-quality prints. Through hands-on projects, they gained practical experience in creating and refining drypoint prints. The skills they learned in this module will be important for their future printmaking projects, including more complex techniques like etching and aquatint. 

Identities in Second Year 

The second-year students at Artist Proof Studio have recently completed their Identity Drawing module, which focuses on creating life-size self-portraits. This term, students explored their personal identities through detailed and expressive figure drawings. Each student used their phone camera to capture various poses and settings that reflect their individuality. These photographs served as the basis for their final drawings, allowing them to experiment with different compositions, angles, and contexts that convey their unique stories. The emphasis was on using a selected color palette and various pastel techniques to bring their self-portraits to life. 


The assessment criteria for this module focused on technical skills, creativity, and the conceptual depth of each drawing. Students were evaluated on their ability to accurately depict the human form, utilize color theory, and effectively integrate various materials into their artwork. The final drawings were expected to demonstrate a strong understanding of proportion, perspective, and the expressive use of color and texture. This term’s project has enabled the students to explore deeply into self-exploration and expression, providing a powerful platform to articulate their identities through art. 


APS Third Year students Collaborate with University of Johannesburg Third Year Students 

This term, the third-year students at Artist Proof Studio participated in an advanced etching module as part of a collaborative project with the University of Johannesburg. This module focused on enhancing their professional printing skills, covering techniques such as photographic etching, chine-collé, stenciling, embossing, silkscreening, and lino printing. The students were assessed on their ability to handle the technical aspects of these printmaking processes, with particular attention to their organization, material preparedness, and adherence to professional standards in their editioning practices. 

The collaboration provided a comprehensive assessment framework where students were evaluated on multiple criteria, including their setup and use of materials, technical execution, and the quality of their final prints. This hands-on experience not only honed their technical skills but also emphasized the importance of maintaining a professional workflow. The detailed feedback helped students identify areas for improvement, ensuring they met industry standards. This term's project was crucial in preparing them for professional practice, reinforcing the discipline and precision required in the field of printmaking. 

Mini Research Paper and Visual Literacy Development 

In addition to their practical work, third-year students at Artist Proof Studio were tasked with developing a mini research paper focused on visual literacy. This exercise aimed to refine their ability to articulate the themes and concepts behind their body of work. Students were encouraged to deeply engage with their visual material, analyzing and curating their artworks to form a cohesive narrative. The research paper served as a foundation for their artist statements and prepared them to discuss their work with the public and potential buyers in a professional gallery setting. 

How you can support the APS Education Programme 

Artist Proof Studio (APS) is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of artists and leaders through our comprehensive education program. Each year, we support 60 to 80 students who aspire to become self-sufficient artists and active citizens. Our program not only equips them with technical skills but also empowers them to transform their worlds. With the help of over 25 staff members and 15 part-time interns and assistants, APS provides a robust support system that fosters growth and creativity. Our gallery, featuring the work of over 150 artists, serves as a platform for many to earn an income from their art. 

To continue providing these invaluable educational opportunities, we have established the Gianni Mariano Endowment Fund. This fund is crucial in ensuring that students without financial resources or support can access the education and resources they need to succeed. By donating to APS, you directly contribute to the future of South African art and help us graduate a generation of young artists ready to make a difference. Your support sustains our mission of empowering students through education, helping them achieve their dreams and positively impact their communities.  Support here. 

Art as Activism: The Power of Socio-Political Expression

Thokozani Madonsela, a graduate of Artist Proof Studio, exemplifies the brilliance our education program produces. His iconic nude, faceless, often laughing figures boldly depict neutrality in human identity, exploring themes of identity, belonging, and social justice. Influenced by his South African heritage, Madonsela blends traditional mark-making techniques with socio-political perspectives, creating artworks that challenge societal norms. His forthcoming work will continue to reflect the resilience and strength of African people, aiming to provoke meaningful conversations and spark change. Read the full article here (page 34).