Little Artists' exhibition in South Africa
Life on the street in Johannesburg can be dangerous, especially for kids. "Little Artists" offers them free art tuition – and new perspectives.
Deutsche Bank sets a stage for Little Artists
Opening new perspectives
Deutsche Bank and its foundations foster the creativity and confidence of children and young people.
Street kids become little artists
Raising the aspirations of disadvantaged children – that is one goal of the “Little Artists” project in Johannesburg. For more than 16 years the project has provided street kids and those from poor inner city communities with free art tuition.
Support beyond financial means
Deutsche Bank South Africa Foundation has supported the Little Artists program for ten years. But Deutsche offers more than money: it hosts an annual exhibition and involves local employees as corporate volunteers.
Art at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange platform
Deutsche Bank most recently arranged the annual exhibition in partnership with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). At the JSE the Little Artists’ artworks were well received and acknowledged.
Appreciating the young artists’ works, Peter Wharton-Hood, Chief Country Officer of Deutsche Bank South Africa, opened the exhibition on the evening of the auction. The collaboration between Deutsche Bank and the JSE saw 63 artworks being sold for around R300,000 in less than a week.
Siobhan Cleary (Strategy Director at the JSE) and Edward Selematsela (Founder and Principal of Little Artists) acknowledged Deutsche Bank’s consistent support since 2004. “It has enabled my entrepreneurial venture to become a sustainable project improving the lives of hundreds of orphaned and street children, through teaching and mentorship”, says Edward.
Colorful artworks from children and adolescents
After the successful auction walls of numerous homes and offices in Johannesburg, including the JSE, will be adorned with the Little Artists’ emotive paintings. The motives range from the happy giraffe, painted by 9-year old Sibusiso Mauya, to the 1 meter tall etching by traditional realist, Ramarutha Makoba which shows the emotions of mothers in rural South Africa.
Dedicated to the next generation
Ramarutha is one of several artists who started out as children in the program are now teaching the next generation. Deutsche Bank appreciates that long-term success requires nurturing and investing in talent.
Little Artists is life-changing for everyone who takes part - providing purpose and direction and strengthening the confidence of participants. The partnership and the active involvement of staff and clients provide a stage for talents of tomorrow.
Giving disadvantaged children the opportunity to overcome their hardships – that is one goal of the Little Artists project in South Africa. Without education or intervention, street children don’t have much to look forward to. The Little Artists project uses art to reach these children and teach them how to lead a self-supporting life. For many of these children, it’s a first exposure to the joy and the rewards of creative expression. For over 16 years, it has been providing rehabilitated street kids and those from poor inner city communities with free art tuition. Deutsche Bank South Africa Foundation has supported the project since 2004. Over and above the financial support, Deutsche Bank hosts an annual exhibition and employees who generously support the initiative.
This year’s exhibition and auction was arranged by Deutsche in partnership with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) on their premises in late May. Once again, the guests were overwhelmed by the level of skill and the quality of the work. They showed their support at the very engaging auction – within the first week 63 artworks were sold for around R300,000. The walls of numerous homes and offices in Johannesburg, including the JSE, will now be adorned with the Little Artists’ emotive paintings.
Besides getting the possibility to exhibit their works, a group of Little Artists were taken to London to visit famous galleries and museums. During their stay, the artists had the chance to participate in an online auction – well accompanied by Deutsche Bank’s local employees.
“In black communities very few kids know what art is.”
Award winning initiative
Deutsche Bank has been honoured in 2009 with an award from Business and Arts South Africa for its support of the project.
Learning life skills
With the bank’s support, Little Artists set up permanent teaching facilities at a high school in Johannesburg in 2008. On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, up to 40 children attend art classes where they eat together, discuss art and paintings and practice new techniques. They also gain valuable life skills, such as the importance of preparation and the discipline needed to produce works of art.
Some of the children who first picked up a paintbrush at a Little Artists class have gone on to become award-winning artists. Others have become teachers of art. But Little Artists is life-changing for everyone who takes part, providing purpose and direction and developing the confidence and the skills to pursue any career.