Goodbye Joseph, Hello Molemo
As we say a final goodbye to Joseph Gaylard this week, we wish to thank him for his years of unwavering and committed work at VANSA. Joseph has been involved with VANSA since its inception and actively involved in the management and development for four years, and his fervent support of the Orlando Pirates Soccer team. Joseph has taken on the role of Head of the SADC office of Pro Helvetia | the Swiss Arts Council.
Statement by Jonathan Garnham, Chairperson of the VANSA NEC:
It has been a privilege and a pleasure to have worked with Joseph Gaylard at VANSA over the past several years. He has dedicated himself to growing and strengthening the organisation wholeheartedly, so that VANSA is now playing a formidable role within the visual arts sector in South Africa.
I am very happy that in Molemo Moiloa we have a found a new director capable of filling Joseph's shoes, and am confident that she and the VANSA team will continue to drive the organisation in serving the needs of our visual arts community.
I would like to thank Joseph for all he has done for VANSA and wish him luck with his new ventures, even if he is an Amabhakabhaka fan.
Statement by Joseph Gaylard, outgoing director:
It has been a great privilege to have been part of VANSA for the past number of years, first in a voluntary and advisory role, and subsequently as Director for the past four years. The organisation has achieved a lot. There are three areas of our work that have been particularly important for me – the development of a genuinely valued and valuable informational service for people working in the contemporary visual arts, the undertaking of influential and ground-breaking research on policy, legislation and mechanisms for support for the development of the sector, and the development of networks and creative collaborations with organisations on the continent, as well as in small town and rural contexts within South Africa. VANSA is nevertheless still an organisation that is finding its feet and I can think of no better person than the incoming Director, Molemo Moiloa, to effect this process of ‘grounding’ for the organisation. Molemo brings a formidable intellect and an approach that is both imaginative and pragmatic to a complex and evolving project, and I’m tremendously excited about the future of the organisation under her thoughtful leadership.
Statement by Molemo Moiloa, incumbent director:
VANSA is an extraordinary organisation, with a significant footprint and noteworthy outcomes over the years. Its great work disguises the fact of a very small team and tight resources. Driven by commitment to the development and support of the visual arts community, and a creative and intellectual investment in its discourses, VANSA is a stimulating and promising place to be. I am very excited (though still slightly apprehensive) about the future years ahead of VANSA and the opportunities for consolidation, concentration and sustainable creation that they provide. There is a wonderful, smart and dedicated team of people within VANSA and around it, who contribute greatly, and will continue to be called on to sustain our work and deepen it further.
VANSA has five key areas of focus, loosely termed; creative development, professional practice development, market and audience development, network development and advocacy work. All five will remain priorities of VANSA. With the growth of the team and continuing interest from many individuals and organisations, VANSA will look to develop stronger linkages across the country and better organisational relationships that enable networked and collaborative growth for the visual arts community. Together with a stronger representivity for and of VANSA across the country, collaborative work across the continent is an exciting and opportune approach to deepen VANSA’s contribution and relevance.
VANSA will continue to play a role in communicating and enabling networks across the many, sometimes somewhat mismatched, stakeholders of the arts community, to work with both the private and public sector for better representation of the visual arts’ important contribution to society. Related to this is the ever present need for representation and transformation in what remains an insular community, and the role VANSA plays in communicating the inalienable connection between transformation and the growth of an industry.
We look forward to growing our connection with you, working with you, to ensure VANSA represents your needs and plays a role in seeing them met. Over the next few years I am confident we can strengthen the work already done by VANSA and enable its greater relevance and rapport.
A very big thank you to Joseph, the outgoing director, for his great work and his unending patience and guidance over the past two months.