08/02/2018 16:41 SAST | Updated 09/02/2018 05:59 SAST

Celebrating August House: The Inner-City's Art Incubator

August House has given solace and space to some of the continent's most inspired artists.

Delwyn Verasamy

August House is well-known on Johannesburg's arts scene as the base of many of the country's most prominent artists, and now the Absa Gallery just down the road is staging a retrospective exhibition of August House's 11-year history as an arts hub.

The exhibition explores the legacy of the arts centre's past, and the promise it offers to the vibrant community of artists that still call the building home.

Big names like Sam Nhlengethwa, Diane Victor and Bambo Sibiya have called it home, and emerging names like Andile Buka and Jake Singer have also worked in its halls – all of whom are participating in the upcoming exhibition, called "Talking To Deaf Ears".

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Why did August House become so central to the local arts scene, we asked David Mayers, the passionate art collector turned "landlord" who is responsible for August House?

"The August House community is built on sharing," he said. "Our artists, collectors and followers rely on the ability to engage, debate and share information, ideas and problems with each other as well as the greater art community."

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Mayer says the venue will be getting even more progressive in the coming months and years.

"The future of August House is very bright. We are bringing in a further 10 art studios designed to cater for our artists' needs. We will be activating our in-house residency programme and have already begun engaging with international artists to join our community for short-term periods. We are sticking to our mission statement: we wish to be the epicentre of creative and artistic talent on the African continent."

"Talking To Deaf Ears" runs from February 5 to March 9 at the Absa Gallery, Absa Towers North, 161 Main Street, Johannesburg.