Since its formalisation in 2005, VANSA has developed a variety of significant projects and interventions. Highlights for this period are detailed below. A more comprehensive summary of our work in 2010 can be downloaded here.
- Convening and organising the first Visual Arts Conference in a democratic South Africa in February 2006 in Cape Town with over 200 delegates from across the country
- Convened the Robben Island Curators Workshop in November 2006, an intensive two-week long forum for discussion, debate and learning, with participation from established and emergent curators from across South Africa and Africa, and with keynote speakers from Nigeria, Senegal, the United Kingdom and Switzerland
- established national office for VANSA in Johannesburg
- national office and VANSA Western Cape convened a three day symposium in November 2007 entitled “Structuring Africa(S): Differences And Similarities Between Cultural Policies, Or How To Deal With Needs And Desires”; in partnership with the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) at the Michaelis School of Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town.
- successfully lobbied for the national Department of Arts and Culture to commission research into the visual arts sector in South Africa
- VANSA KZN developed the Art Bus project in Durban, in partnership with the Performing Arts Network of South Africa – an audience development initiative aimed at drawing both locals and tourists into public and commercial galleries across Durban.
- Secured support from the Western Cape Department of Economic Development for a Western Cape VANSA office and programming; established office and resource centre in Cape Town CBD (2008-10).
- National office produced Public Art Survivor project undertaken in partnership with Trinity Session, Art at Work! and the Joubert Park Project in February/March 2009; involving fifteen young curators and artists producing public art projects in Soweto, the Inner City and Sandton during the course of a two week period. Participants were mentored by experienced public art curators from Switzerland, Cameroon and South Africa.
- VANSA Western Cape produced Artists Handbook in partnership with the Africa Centre - a toolkit for artists starting out on their professional careers.
- VANSA National/Gauteng initiated internship programme for arts administrators in eleven projects and contemporary art spaces across the country, supported by Africalia. More than twenty young arts administrators have been through six-month internships with organisations, and many are now employed by their host organisations, or are pursuing successful careers as freelance professionals.
- supported the development of experimental artworks by three young contemporary artists in the 2009 Spring Art Tour (Lonwabo Kilani, Donna Kukama and Gabrielle Goliath).
- VANSA Western Cape launched the Spin Space gallery space, hosting exhibitions of emerging contemporary artists
- VANSA Western Cape launched inaugural Spring School, including professional development workshops for artists, a mentorship programme for emerging artists and public lectures
- VANSA Gauteng developed visual arts strategy for Gauteng City-Region, commissioned by the Gauteng Department of Sports, recreation, Arts and Culture
- VANSA Western Cape project-managed major public art commissions for IDASA and as part of the 2010 World Cup in Cape Town
- National/Gauteng and Western Cape offices provided technical support for national study on the visual arts sector, managed by the Human Sciences Research Council and commissioned by the national Department of Arts and Culture
- Gauteng office launched experimental public art project - Two Thousand and Ten Reasons to Live in a Small Town - in 11 small towns across South Africa. Five proposal writing and briefing workshops were convened with more than 150 artists across South Africa, and eleven projects were selected through a Call for Proposals process. Projects will be completed in 2011, together with an exhibition and publication.
- VANSA KZN staged series of professional development workshops - the Arts Savvy programme - for artists in the Durban/KZN region
- the Gauteng office launched the ArtRight website - an on-line professional practice resource for people working in the industry, focusing on tools, advice and templates related to the legal, financial and general business aspects of the visual arts.