Music and art are deeply imbedded in Stellenbosch society. South Africa’s oldest music school, the Stellenbosch Conservatoire, has its home in this important cultural centre, and there is a collection of galleries and museums housing national and international art collections worth viewing
A two-year exhibition on two decades of South African sculpture, ‘20Stellenbosch’, highlighted galleries, art museums and outdoor locations, where works by various sculptors that are on permanent display, can be found.
The town draws artists from around the world, many of whom have put down roots here. Their work is on display in the many art galleries and on wine estates.
Several local artists have gained international acclaim and some continue to live and work in the inspirational surroundings.
One of the flagship artworks on display in front of the Stellenbosch Town Hall is the Nelson Mandela memorial piece by South African land artist Strijdom van der Merwe.
“Kom sit, Stellenbosch” is the current outdoor exhibition by The Stellenbosch Outdoor Sculpture Trust that features pieces on display at various strategic places across town, by well-known artists including Strijdom van der Merwe, Wilma Cruise, Marieke Prinsloo-Rowe, Jaco Sieberhagen and graffiti-kunstenaar Mak1On.
The PJ Olivier Art Centre is one of only a few in South Africa and is a proud service provider for schools in greater Stellenbosch and surrounding area.
Stellenbosch Art Route
Stellenbosch boasts a rich, multi-coloured canvas of unique art destinations and attractions buzzing with artistic activity. Several galleries exhibit art for sale and some wine estates also feature impressive art collections. Here is our suggested meander along The Art Route through our historic village.
Take a unique Tuk Tuk to Rupert Art Museum, then walk back along Stellentia Street and turn right into historic Dorp Street to D-Street Gallery. Further along, you will find Kom Sit (Have a Seat) art benches, namely Strijdom van der Merwe, Marieke Prinsloo-Rowe, Izanne Wiid.
Stellenbosch University Art Gallery is directly behind the benches. Turn left and amble down to The Kraal Gallery, then towards the green park where you will find two Kom Sit benches - Karla Duterloo and Stephan van Wyk – and look out for the historically significant Rhenish Church.
Make your way up Church Street to the SMAC Art Gallery. If you fancy a half-time rest, Brampton Wine Studio offers a glass of fine wine while you bring out your creative side on the blackboard tables. Continue up Church Street and turn right into Andringa Street to Art on 5.
Turn back into Church Street to find Wilma Cruise’s Kom Sit bench, ‘Travelling Baboon’. Further along is Teresa Decinti, and on the outside of the Hofmeyr building, you will find Jean Theron Louw’s ‘Seemingly Peaceful’ Kom Sit bench. Left into Ryneveld is Johan Coetzee Gallery. Further down is the Stellenbosch Art Gallery and the Sasol Art Gallery (SU).
Follow Plein Street, and cross the ‘Braak’ to iThemba at Stellenbosch 360.
1) Rupert Museum - Tel: 021 888 3344 • Stellentia Ave.
2) D-Street Gallery - Tel: 021 883 2337 • 112 Dorp St.
3) US Art Gallery – Tel: 021 808 3489 • cnr Dorp & Bird St.
4) The Kraal Gallery – Tel: 021 883 3881 • 8 Bird St.
5) SMAC Art Gallery – Tel: 021 887 3607 • 1st Floor, De Wet Centre, Church St.
6) Art on 5 – Tel: 021 887 7234 • 7b Andringa St.
7) Teresa Decinti – Tel: 021 882 8994 • 3 Eikehof, Church St.
8) Johan Coetzee – Tel: 021 886 5656 • 71 Plein St.
9) Stellenbosch Art Gallery – Tel: 021 887 8343 • 34 Ryneveld St.
10) Sasol Art Gallery (SU) – Tel: 021 808 3695 • 52 Ryneveld St.
11) iThemba Curio Shop – Tel: 021 883 3584 • 36 Market St.
Arts & Crafts
Hobbies, arts and crafts, pottery lessons, wooden toys, kiddie crafts, art lessons – every art & craft imaginable can be learned or shared, in this town where art and culture is a way of life for people of all ages.
Art and sculpting are serious crafts and the town boasts several world-renowned artists and sculptors, but for some, creating art for their personal pleasure is reward enough.
Arts and crafts tuition and fun amateur classes include candle-making; jewellery making; bronze casting; model building; pottery and ceramics, leather craft; beadwork; scrapbooking; weaving; quilting; stitching and knitting, cookery; decoupage; woodwork; stamp and coin collecting; photography and picture framing.
There are arts & crafts markets and shops where local products are available. Visit iThemba Curio Shop at the tourism office in Market Street for beautiful gifts hand-made by local Artists and Crafters on Route 360.
The craft market at Spier showcases contemporary and traditional artwork by South African crafters. Textiles, ceramics, woodwork and African beadwork are on display as well as exquisite wood-turned bowls, beautifully crafted pottery pieces and handmade Nguni-style tapestries.
In this Town of Oaks you will find a place that embodies the sentiment that “Local is Lekker”.