The town draws artists from around the world, but Stellenbosch also boasts several local artists who have gained international acclaim. Their work is on display in the many art galleries in town and on wine estates.
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.
The Stellenbosch Outdoor Sculpture Trust consists of various local artists that bring contemporary art to a broad audience in Stellenbosch by mounting free exhibitions of international scope, offering visitors powerful engaging experiences with art, architecture and open urban spaces.
The current outdoor exhibition is called “STAND”, featuring displays at various strategic places across town. Linking into the 2018 theme of cycling, the sculptures look at innovative ways to park bicycles in town.
Previous projects include a two-year exhibition called ‘20Stellenbosch’ featuring two decades of South African sculpture, highlighted galleries, art museums and outdoor locations.
Other popular exhibition themes include Metalwork, Reflections and “Kom sit”, where 24 benches in town were the “canvases” for artists and craftspeople who produced works of functional art.
Stellenbosch Art Route
Stellenbosch boasts a rich, multi-coloured canvas of unique art destinations and attractions buzzing with artistic activity.
Strolling through Stellenbosch, particularly along historic Dorp Street, you’ll discover a ‘natural art experience’. Sculptures are strategically placed within the historic town centre, on sidewalks and squares between Dorp and Victoria, Drostdy and Market Streets - also known as the ‘Arts Quarter’.
The numerous art galleries offer a unique insight in the history of South African art.
1) Rupert Museum – Stellentia Avenue
2) D-Street Gallery – 112 Dorp Street
3) US Art Gallery – cnr Dorp & Bird Street
4) The Kraal Gallery – 8 Bird Street
5) SMAC Art Gallery – 1st Floor, De Wet Centre, Church Street
6) Art on 5 – 7b Andringa Street
7) Teresa Decinti – 3 Eikehof, Church Street
8) Johan Coetzee – 71 Plein Street
9) Stellenbosch Art Gallery – 34 Ryneveld Street
10) Stellenbosch University Art Museum – 34 Ryneveld Street
11) iThemba Curio Shop – 36 Market Street
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.