As anyone interested in the creative realm will know, the free First Thursdays art wall, which takes place on the first Thursday of every month in both Cape Town and Johannesburg, is a cultural must-do. Art galleries and design studios stay open until late and the streets of these cities’ design districts buzz with vibrant activity.
For those eager to attend this month’s event on Thursday 3 December, we’ve picked out a few stand-out exhibitions and events in Cape Town and Johannesburg that are worth a visit.
Cape Town Highlights
Breathe Oxygen Bar at Jiji Juice: on the night of First Thursdays, this new juice bar in Loop Street will play host to a special station where guests can sit and breathe concentrated oxygen that comes in flavours like lavender, vanilla and lemongrass. This unique experience, which is said to leave you feeling fresh and revived, will set you back R30 for five minutes and R50 for 10 minutes,
30 Loop Street, CBD
David Brits’s ‘Snake Man’ Exhibition at SMITH: Recommended to us by founder of First Thursdays Gareth Pearson, this unusual exhibition honours the life of John Wood, a famed South African snake expert and showman and the late grandfather of the artist David Brits. The series of drawings, prints and linocuts was inspired by reptile-based films, photos, poems and more created by Wood during his lifetime.
56 Church Street, CBD
John Bauer’s Ceramic Exhibition at Alliance Française du Cap: View intricate ceramic bowls, tiles and beads that have been lovingly handcrafted by John Bauer, a world-renowned ceramicist who is revered for his cutting-edge work in porcelain. Ever-the-romantic, Bauer’s work typically centres on love, so you can expect a show that takes you on a poignant, magical journey through pottery.
155 Loop Street, CBD
Interactive Cinema at the Pepperclub Hotel: This Cape Town hotel’s 28-seater Odeon Cinema will be screening a selection of top student short films from the country’s best film school especially for First Thursdays. The shorts will screen every hour on the hour between 6pm and 9pm; entrance is free and so is the popcorn.
Corner Loop and Pepper streets, CBD
Opening Night of Adriaan Diedricks’s Exhibition at [spasie]: A young visual artist that many have their eyes on right now, Adriaan Diedricks will be launching his latest show at underground Bo-Kaap restaurant [spasie] on First Thursdays night. This gifted creative is known best for his detailed sculptures and charcoal drawings, and he will be present at the launch so admirers can meet and chat to him.
97 Church Street, Bo-Kaap
A Literary Jol at Fourthwall Books: This creative venue will be celebrating First Thursdays this month by combining wine and readings of poetry and fiction by Wits drama students. After the literary session, guest can enjoy music spun by a DJ and craft cocktails until late into the evening.
5 Reserve Street, Braamfontein
Endale Exhibition at David Krut Projects: On show at this famed gallery on the night of First Thursdays, Ethiopian artist Endale Desalegn’s ‘Two Social Pacifiers’ exhibition explores systems of social dependence and the concepts of dissatisfaction and waiting. The contemporary prints and paintings are for sale and guests can enjoy drinks while they browse the striking creations.
142 Jan Smuts Avenue, Rosebank
Wits Fine Art Graduation Exhibition at the Wits Art Museum (WAM): This is your chance to view works by the leading artists of South Africa’s future. The ‘newworkfifteen’ exhibition on at WAM features the final pieces produced by the 2015 Wits Fine Art graduates, who have used their art to grapple with the social realities of South Africa and the #FeesMustFall protests in particular.
Corner of Bertha and Jorissen Streets, Braamfontein
Strange Creatures Exhibition and Live Music at Priest Espressobar: This month’s First Thursdays marks the end of gifted illustrator Bianca Brand’s ‘Strange Creatures’ exhibition at Priest. The show features a collection of works that, true to the exhibition’s name, feature bizarre human-like beings in a vibrant array of colours. Guests can enjoy the visuals alongside live music and one of the bar’s famed slush puppies.
142 Jan Smuts Avenue, Rosebank
For more ideas on what to visit this First Thursdays, head to first-thursdays.co.za.
Main featured image is from David Brits’s ‘Snake Man’ exhibition, showing at SMITH Studio in Cape Town.