With the changing of the seasons the warmer weather is a welcome relief. Perfect for exploring one of South Africa’s premier lifestyle destinations, namely the Franschhoek Wine Valley. Home to award-winning wines, internationally acclaimed restaurants, exquisite art as well as an array of cultural and outdoor offerings. This October make the most of your visit as it coincides with Art Franschhoek, Franschhoek Open Gardens Festival and the Classic Music Festival.

Over the past 10 years research has shown that Franschhoek attracts many high-end visitors to the Cape, many of whom include art loving tourists. This has allowed the industry to adapt locally with a number of serious galleries in Franschhoek, such as EBONY/CURATED and Everard Read, to showcase world-class exhibitions on a regular basis. Ultimately this led to the establishment of Art Franschhoek. In recent years art has become relevant and sought-after, and as such so has the art attraction in Franschhoek, which is home to 16 galleries. The demand for fine art has in turn lifted Franschhoek’s aspirational presence so much more. Furthermore, Art Franschhoek helps to highlight the diversity of the galleries in and around Franschhoek, offering both the connoisseur as well as the amateur exquisite artworks to view in a non-sterile space. 

From 25 to 27 October visitors to Franschhoek will be treated to a weekend of art appreciation as galleries ‘open their doors’ for the 4th annual Art Franschhoek. The weekend is dedicated to showcasing some of their spectacular works of arts and exhibitions. 

Art enthusiasts can choose to leisurely browse the galleries situated along the village’s main road, and within comfortable walking distance from each other. Alternatively choose to view the artworks on display at some of the wine farms, which include The Gallery at Grande Provence, La Motte Museum and Leeu Estates. Joining these galleries in this year’s line-up will be Art in the Yard, Abe Opperman Gallery, EBONY/CURATED Bordeaux House, Everard Read Gallery, Johannes du Plessis, Oda Gallery, Oink At Farm Sanctuary SA, Senechal-Senekal Art Gallery and The Boutique Gallery. Art Franschchoek celebrates these galleries and their artists, allowing visitors to experience this unique part of Franschhoek.

A highlight of this year’s weekend will be an exhibition entitled ‘Masterpieces from Franschhoek Private Collections’. A unique once off display of exquisite artworks on loan from private owners for this weekend. These include never before seen works by the likes of William Kentridge, Alexis Preller, Dumile Feni, Robert Hodgins, Maud Sumner, to name but a few. Viewings of these rare gems will be on view to the public at EBONY/CURATED’s Bordeaux House Gallery. 

A detailed programme is available on the festival website, www.franschhoekart.co.za

Not only will visitors be treated to exquisite artworks, but with Franschhoek being in full bloom during this time, the valley’s gardens are also spectacular sights to behold. Over the same weekend garden fanatics and nature lovers will be able to view some of the valley’s breath-taking gardens at the annual Franschhoek Open Gardens Festival. Gardens range from small village gardens to beautiful large farm gardens. This year there are 10 gardens on show. Added attractions include the ‘Garden in a Pot’ competition as well as teas and wine tastings at some of the participating gardens. Tickets cost R200 per person to view all of the gardens on show and are valid for the entire weekend, and can be purchased from La Motte Wine Estate or the NG Church Hall in Franschhoek. 

What promises to be a weekend of cultural highlights, the Classic Music Festival over the same dates, will feature three concerts in the NG Church. Starting the line-up is music by Mozart and Debussy for four hands at one piano with Mark Nixon and Christopher Duigan on 25 October. The recently formed Prins Trio  of Annien Shaw (violin) David Pinoit (cello) with Megan-Geoffrey Prins (piano) will treat you to  Ravel’s dazzling Trio and Beethoven’s Ghost Trio  on  Saturday, 26 October. Concluding the musical celebration on Sunday, 27 October will be  Junnan Sun (clarinet) who is joined by Christopher Duigan (piano) in a re-imagined version of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto K. 622.  Tickets for the three NG Church concerts are R150 each and can be booked online at via www.webtickets.co.za.

This year the Franschhoek Wine Valley is pleased to have Art Times Magazine on board as a media partner in assisting to generate awareness for the event.

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