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Association for Visual Arts

Association for Visual Arts

The Association For Visual Arts (AVA) in partnership with Spier is one of Cape Town's oldest non-profit art galleries, showcasing contemporary South African art in all media. The gallery has been situated in these premises, in the heart of the city centre, since 1971, first as the Metropolitan Gallery, and then in partnership with Spier, who recently bought the building from Metropolitan.

AVA's main priority and objective is the promotion and advancement of visual art and artists in South Africa, with particular emphasis on artists from the Western Cape, both established and emerging, formally trained and self-taught.

AVA achieves this goal in several ways. Firstly, AVA hosts exhibitions which change every three weeks. This means that our space is never without an exhibition. An artist does not need to be a member of AVA to hold an exhibition here. All work exhibited goes through a selection procedure. AVA has a selection panel who meet every two months. Any artist who wishes to exhibit at AVA must bring in works on the day of the selection meeting for the panel to review. Their decision is made by majority vote. No feedback is given and their decision is final. It should be noted that being a member of AVA does not guarantee an artist an exhibition here. As the gallery space is divided into four sections, four exhibitions can be held simultaneously and these four shows all share one opening function.

An exhibition at AVA comes with expenses. We try our best to keep these costs down by allowing the four exhibitors to share certain costs. However, the cost of gallery rental and invitations is not shared, but is borne by the individual artists. AVA exhibition expenses are among the lowest in Cape Town and our commission is the standard one third on all sales. On being accepted by the selection panel for an exhibition at AVA, the artist should enquire from the gallery staff as to the exhibition expenses that he/she will incur. The artist will then be required to enter into a contract with AVA re his/her exhibition.

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