On the 10th of February, the 5th edition of the International Public Art Festival transformed Salt River into a visual Wonderland. Organized by local NGO Baz Art, 20 local and international artists were commissioned to add colour to the bland cityscape by creating large-scale, public artworks across the streets of Salt River and Cape Town for the enjoyment of all residents.
Over the past 20 years, Salt River has become an iconic location for street art in South Africa, with many of the painted walls coming from the International Public Arts Festival, hosted in and around Salt River every year. Over the year’s artists from South Africa, and around the world, have transformed the facades of over 123 buildings in an extraordinary display of artistic self-expression and empowering messaging, with this latest edition bringing the number of murals in Salt River to well over 100.
The festival is a showcase of how public art can express community values, enhance our environment, transform a landscape, heighten our awareness, or question our assumptions. Placed in public sites, this art is there for everyone, a form of collective community expression. The community of Salt River has embraced the festival, with many of the artists looking to the community for inspiration for their works. IPAF has also been instrumental in renewing foot traffic through the area, creating jobs and sustainable business, whether it is coffee shops, art gallery’s or the tour guides themselves. With both the tourism and hospitality industries suffering immensely over the past year due to COVID-19, IPAF has created an opportunity for these industries to find an alternative avenue to share their expertise, while also supporting the community at large.
Baz Art NGO
Baz Art is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to harnessing the power of arts for the benefits of the public, as has been done in cities across the globe – to resounding success. Baz Art achieves these objectives through Art Creation, Education, Incorporation and Development, as can be seen in the many community projects in and around Salt River. These special projects have been pivotal in nurturing community building, as well as social transformation and cohesion by encouraging businesses, artists, and neighborhoods to come together,
WALK IT, RUN IT, CYCLE IT
Considering the pandemic, special tours have been created for you to enjoy this creative, outdoor activity. Tours vary in length and include new and existing murals that paint a fascinating picture of Cape Town and Africa at large. Enjoy a self-guided tour through the IPAF downloadable map. Or book a local tour guide. We highly recommend booking a guide, they are all well trained and provide interesting insights into the area, artists, and the art itself, and 100% of the proceeds go to the tour guide. There are also lots of local eateries and cafes in the area, with delicious food and drinks to keep you going. So, if you’re looking for a new way to experience Cape Town, put on some comfy shoes, slather that sunblock on, grab your mask and start exploring!