Greatmore Studios brings together artists from diverse cultural and national backgrounds in a working environment that encourages new ideas and stimulates professionalism, creativity and productivity. Here, artists work together in an atmosphere of cooperation, interaction, mentoring and cultural exchange – all of which ensure that they are given the opportunity to follow new directions and push themselves beyond the boundaries of their own practice.
Greatmore Studios was established in November 1998 in Woodstock, Cape Town, in response to a critical need for studio space and art-making facilities by a cross-section of the city’s artists. Fourteen studios are rented as private spaces where local artists work on a full-time basis.
An additional three studios are reserved for visiting artists from abroad or elsewhere in Africa and South Africa. Twelve residencies in the Visiting Artists’ Programme (VAP) are available each year, with three artists setting up studio at Greatmore for up to three months. Since December 1999, 60 artists from 19 countries have taken part in the VAP.
All artists in residence at Greatmore, whether local or international, are required to exhibit their work in an open studio situation or exhibition space or gallery during their stay.
Resident artists are also required to participate in outreach programmes. These activities range from slide shows and workshops to lectures and presentations at various local institutions and schools as well as in communities.
In addition to being provided with administrative support, artists benefit from Greatmore’s digital programme. Through this programme, artists have unlimited access to the internet, enabling them to keep up to date with events, including exhibitions, residencies and competitions. The programme also includes training courses in selected applications and assistance in building websites.
Greatmore Studios forms part of the Triangle Arts Trust, a United Kingdom based organisation that initiates and facilitates an international network of artist-led workshops and residencies. This association affords artists access to information and opportunities to exchange ideas and skills with other artists around the world.
Greatmore, and its workshop initiative, Thupelo, grew out of the first Triangle Arts Trust workshop, held in New York in 1982. It follows the Triangle model of providing studios and residencies, facilitating workshops, and supporting outreach programmes to raise awareness of art. Exhibitions, workshop open days and public events provide platforms for engaging audiences and introducing the latest works of new and established artists to local and international audiences.
Greatmore Studios is an artists-run initiative. The committee and coordinator work closely with the administrator, administrative assistant and accountant. Greatmore Studios is a registered trust.