The Fringe Arts sells art through versatile concepts in which we collaborate with integrity with artists and clients in a way that makes business sense.
Based in Cape Town, The Fringe Arts is owned and run by Chantal Louw and Thessa Bos.
One of our core projects is an 100% SA Art & Design Collective. We showcase the collective in POP-UPs, which means that we don’t have a permanent space anywhere, but pop-up temporarily in empty spaces or as part of exhibitions.
Products of our artists and designers are Africa-inspired, but not Africa-themed. Each piece is locally designed, manufactured and handmade.
Not wanting to open an art gallery nor a design shop we decided to combine the two concepts in a way that strengthens both aspects of the industry: a (pop-up) shop|gallery in which the visitor can browse art and design without the intimidation of the white cube.
Our focus is on the demographic of people largely not catered for by the current art and design market; people, locally and internationally, who love art and design and have a limited art budget; collectors who desire work by established and emerging artists and designers that is conceptually strong, skillfully crafted and local but not curio.
Is there any chance the Pop-up store will be making its appearance in Jo’burg?
O the joy if we could! We would love to pop-up in Jo’burg. Not only to meet our fabulous fans up there and to see what incredible stuff Jo’burg is up to (we read the most fantastic things). It would give Chantal a great excuse to haunt her old hang outs and catch up with family and Thessa time with loved ones in Pretoria. So any spaces who would host us – we are ready to pack! It takes us two days to get it all up and one day to take it all down.
How are people responding to the pop-up store concept?
The support has been overwhelming. Five pop-ups in one year! People have clicked. From our first hosts; Africa Centre and Spier Contemporary 2010 to the Cape Creative Exhibition and the V&A Waterfront to Design Indaba and Spier Wine Farm. Our designers and artists who drop off and pick up their ranges and whose support of both the concept and the store has been limitless. The blogs who, like this one, have been so kind in helping us get out there and who nurture local talent with such devotion and then there are the fans who come back every time.
Fans who say local designers names and artists with reverence and who know and respect the difference between hand-knitted and mass import. It is because a shift has occurred in which local contemporary art and design is given its due and the support is growing.
How many artists do you represent/feature? Are they all Cape Town based? Can you please name a few of the up-and-coming ones?
Over seventy artists and designers are featured in the collective. Many are Cape Town based (which is why we need a pop-up in Jo’burg! Great time for sourcing). Three artists who have joined us this week are Patatie with her beautiful resin jewellery, Sootcookie with her gorgeous ceramics and Iseabeau Peep with her handspun and knitted objects.
How can artists get hold of you?
Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Our numbers are also on our facebook page.
POP-UP at Spier: +27 (0)21 809 1142 | POP-UP ALFRED MALL +27 (0)79 494 1156
Thanks so much Thessa and Chantal! What an amazing initiative!