6th November 2020
First National Bank, in collaboration with art galleries from all over the world, is hosting an online art fair from November 6 to November 18, 2020, with hopes to merge art and technology.
The fair is free and open to the general public, allowing art lovers to immerse themselves in vibrant colors through a virtual experience.
According to the fair manager, Nicole Siegenthaler, artists, and galleries were forced to approach their craft from a new angle to ensure their reach without needing visitors to go anywhere.
"It was important for us to work with technology, not in spite of it, to create a user-friendly experience. Although we’ve definitely been out of our comfort zone, it also feels we’ve been able to grow the platform in some exciting directions previously never imagined," said Siegenthaler.
The fair is available on artjoburg.com and is packed with viewable art from Kampala, Cape Town, Nairobi, London, Harare, and Luanda.
Under each gallery, an option to scan a QR code allows viewers to use their smart devices to view various artworks on the very walls of their homes and includes links where potential buyers can purchase photos and illustrations that have captured their fancy.
Work by the 10th annual FNB art Prize winner, South African artist Lady Skollie also appears on the website.
In the Gallery Lab tab on the main website, viewers can see multiple projects by well-known African artists from Johannesburg to Lagos.
According to Siegenthaler: "I’m looking forward to users interacting with the Instagram augmented-reality galleries that will feature in Gallery LAB. Each LAB exhibitor has conceptualised a different experience — there are filters, AR installations that cast you as a character in the artists’ work, imagined paradises and recreated memories for users to interact with and navigate. It’s really not your traditional online viewing room experience, it’s next-level."
The website also features a program page, wherein viewers can join Zoom presentations of various galleries daily throughout the fair.