Situated on the slopes of a mountain, with olive groves and vineyards spread throughout, the old town of Riebeek Kasteel is often compared to the Franschhoek of 15 years ago – possessing the same majestic beauty without being a tourist hotspot.
Its scenic seclusion has made it somewhat of a haven for artists, with many of South Africa’s celebrated talents finding residence here. It’s no wonder the dorp has been nicknamed “Arts Town” – a moniker it will certainly live up to, come August 2019, when it hosts the annual Solo Studios event, with its twin town Riebeek West.
About Solo Studios: Intimate Art Encounters
From 8 to 11 August, local artists will be opening up their studios to visitors, allowing them into their private workspaces, and offering them an opportunity to engage with the artists and gain insight into their creative process. Art collectors will have the opportunity to purchase pieces directly from the artists themselves.
In addition to the art on display, there’ll be talks and presentations from high-profile names such as Jacques Pauw, bestselling author of The President’s Keepers, who will be presenting two talks at his own restaurant, The Red Tin Roof.
Other guest speakers include international award-winning winemakers Chris and Andrea Mullineux, of Mullineux and Leeu Family Wines; and Kefiloe Siwisa and Khanyisile Mbongwa, chief curators of the RMB Turbine Art Fair in Joburg, and the upcoming Stellenbosch Triennale. Radio personality Michelle Constant is patron of the event for the second year running.
The event runs over the course of the long weekend. Tickets can be booked online, with visitors having the option of purchasing a day pass, or full weekend pass. There’s also the premier weekend pass, which includes access to the opening cocktail party at the Royal Hotel, as well as guided walkabouts.
Book accommodation in Riebeek Kasteel
As the event takes place mainly within the homes and studios of the artists, access is limited, so pre-booking is essential.
Similarly, if you’re planning to make a weekend of it, you should book your accommodation in the Riebeek Valley soon as you’re able! We recommend the stunning Shiraz Estate Guest House – a converted farmhouse dating back to 1881 that features eight beautifully decorated en-suite bedrooms, divided into double rooms, four-sleepers and studios.
The Olive Branch Project: Healing Through Art
The 2019 edition of Solo Studios is collaborating with The Olive Branch Project, a nonprofit initiative that addresses social and cultural divides. Over the course of the long weekend, a host of street performers will be entertaining visitors with music, song and dance, giving aspiring artists the opportunity to share a platform with some of the biggest names on the South African art scene.