Life can be a matter of day to day survival for disadvantaged youth in inner-city Johannesburg. The Little Artists School helps these young people realise what they can achieve.
At free art classes held twice a week, up to 40 young people aged 6 and up gather to paint, eat and socialise together. The experience of making art teaches them valuable life skills, among them the importance of preparation and self-discipline. The project also provides exposure to positive male role models these youth can relate to.
The work they produce is exhibited and entered into competitions, building self-confidence and aspirations. We host an annual exhibition at the bank as part of our support for the project, which has included helping Little Artists to find permanent classroom facilities.
We are helping Little Artists to reach new audiences. In 2016 we co-hosted an exhibition at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The Johannesburg Youth Orchestra Company performed at the opening, offering further demonstration of the talents of the next generation.
Some of the young people who first picked up a paintbrush at Little Artists have gone on to become art teachers and award-winning artists. Co-founder and school principal Edward Selematsela, Andrew Ramarutha Makoba, Lazarus Ramontseng, Hines Matshoba, Bheki Mthethwa and Boderick Somana have exhibited all over the world.
Little Artists has educated more than 275 young people since it began.