The Javett Art Centre, more than just Visual


The Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria is about more than a place for visual arts as it is aimed at becoming the coolest place for the youth.

“I am glad that the youth of today are starting to be conscious, to go back to understanding what decolonising means in real terms,” Said Mabeleng Moholo

Moholo is one of the facilitators at the centre who was born and bred in Soweto which brought about a burning love for music in his life at a very early stage. Towards the end of 2019, he facilitated an indigenous music workshop as part of the Weekend Vibe programme, which was a huge success as they had quite a number of youth came together and He shared with them his knowledge on various traditional instruments and demonstrated how they were played.

The participants enjoyed themselves whilst learning and as a result and a full programme is one of his plans for this year at the centre. He had each of the participants an instrument to play and later grouped them up so they could compose their own melodies.

For this year, Moholo plans a tour of primary schools where he will show children how to make simple instruments and use them to perform. “Most of these instruments are not available any longer and are found in museums, but they should be played and enjoyed” He added.

Aside from housing the university’s Mapungubwe gold collection and the Javett permanent collection of modern South African art, it also plans a programme of events, including music.

Javett-UP education officer Puleng Plessie said they wanted to bring African art to the centre, and part of that was exploring indigenous cultural themes.

What’s great about this is that one can incorporate such moments in the visual art space… we are also trying trans-disciplinary programmes, where we incorporate music and visual art,” she said.

Javett-UP opened on Heritage Day last year and kicks off again today.

By: Bradley Brizzy