Located just 45 minutes outside of Cape Town, South Africa, Stellenbosch has become a retreat for art lovers. The town is not only home to South Africa’s oldest music school, Stellenbosch Conservatoire, it also features an impressive collection of galleries and studios. The mountainous town also offers more than 150 wine farms spread out from over Stellenbosch. The numerous homes have broken from the Cape Dutch design and feature modern designs, and art initiatives.
Here are the top art destinations in Stellenbosch.
Located on the outskirts of town on the steep and winding Helshoogte Pass, Tokara offers offering sweeping views across False Bay and Table Mountain. The estate showcases local artwork from South Africa. There are sculptures in olive orchards and fine art in the entrance hall of the estate. There is also a delicatessen and fine dining restaurant on the premises. Tokara celebrates the release of their new vintage wines each year with paintings made by up-and-coming artists using the estate’s red wine.
On the same Simonsberg Mountain as Tokara, is the the ultra-premium Delaire Graff Estate. The estate is known for its architecture and features floral gardens and towering sculptures. It has been personally curated by Laurence Graff, who continues to discover promising South African artists. The interiors at the Estate have been designed around some of the pivotal works on display, such as the William Kentridge-inspired boldly curvaceous tangerine leather banquette. Works by Deborah Bell, Sidney Kumalo, Fred Schimmel, Durant Sihlali and Cecil Skotnes adorn the walls.
Spier Wine Estate
The Spier Art Collection is one of the largest contemporary South African art collections and works by both emerging and established artists. Works can be viewed in both the restored Cape Dutch buildings as well as at Eight Restaurant, which features multi-media artist Tamlin Blake.
The latest public art exhibition in Stellenbosch is on display for 12 months, starting June 2017. It marks the end point of the Cross Cape cycle route from Plettenberg Bay to Stellenbosch.
Last Thursdays Stellenbosch
The monthly free gallery-hopping event allows guests a look at local galleries and what the students of the Stellenbosch University Visual Arts Department are working on.