Subscribe to our Newsletter

e-mail address:

First Name:

Last Name:

Art Conservation Workshop

Print PDF

"Red flag: our collections and Heritage are at risk. Why we need more Art Conservation in South Africa".

Assemblage is pleased to host Monique Vajifdar as the facilitator of a workshop on art conservation and making art that lasts. Not only is the art of conservation a vaild career path for young art professionals, but it is also an urgently needed skill in South Africa.

The workshop will elaborate on the basics of conserving art, specifically art on paper. Vajifdar will also present on the state of art conservation in South Africa today, and the importance of developing a culture of conservation amongst our artists and collectors.

The workshop will be held on 21 July 2014, and will run from 18:00 till 20:00.

Refreshments will be provided.

For more information please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . To register click here.

Registration closes at midnight on 19 July 2014. Seats are limited.

Vajifdar qualified as an Art Conservator at the Camberwell School of Art and Crafts, and migrated to South Africa in 1985. Since then she has worked in a variety of institutions, both in South African and abroad. Vajifdar is also a writer, and aims to promote the importance of art conservation.

The workshop will be hosted at the Assemblage Studios. Assemblage was founded in 2010 and is a non-profit organisation aimed at promoting and developing emerging artists in South Africa.  In 2012 Assemblage opened the Assemblage Studios, an artist run creative space.


Open Studio June 14 Review

Print PDF

Inside the Open Studio Tsunami

Written by Nolan Stevens


“...What people don’t understand about Open Studio is that it’s about seeing the progression of the artists here, and not a case of just coming around once to an Open Studio and thinking you’ve seen one and you’ve seen them all...” Bev Butkow; a resident studio artist at Assemblage was completely spot on with this one. She’d not only given me food for thought but a subject for my first piece.

The Open Studio having blown through like an artsy tsunami. Is far more than the public sees and experiences - Beyond the bacchanalian celebration of mingling, pizza, wine, music and of course art are the weeks of preparation and planning by both the resident artists as well as the studio staff.

Having experienced both sides of the Open Studio coin, I have experienced both the glee of a visitor, and the anticipation of being one of the many cogs in the Assemblage machine. Each is a completely different experience.

Open Studio from the perspective of a visitor is a high-fiving, knuckle-bumping, hug donating blurred montage of music, smiling faces and pretty pieces of art.  It’s a evening where you’d probably take part in one of several deep conversations about everything from the a resident artists inspiration to why the vibe seems to go so well with the art on show”.  Throw into the mix a conversation about the meaning of life, and a chance meeting with a long lost friend and you’ll have just about all the ingredients of an Open Studio visit. Give or take a million more memories.

On the flip side of that coin your experience of an Open Studio has a few noticeable differences when you’re on the inside:  Most notably, the party vibe is a lot more controlled if you’re one of the artists hoping to sell a piece or two, or make a worthwhile impression on a visitor.  Being one of these artists, I would imagine means being able to flirt with notions of being the stereotypical bohemian carefree artist whilst maintaining a professional air about things. For these studio artists the preparation for this one evening starts months before. There’s the making of new works to make sure that the regulars have fresh eye candy to feast their eyes and minds on. For them it means organising the organised chaos that are their studio spaces and hanging up works in these space to entice visitors inside.

For the small group of staff members at Assemblage preparation starts even earlier. The planning of this event includes making sure that sponsors like PRIMI Piatti are on board when the event happens. It includes coming up with interesting ways of using social media: Such as the “Pizza Selfie Competition” which encouraged studio visitors to take selfies while munching on PRIMI’s sponsored pizza. This time around a jazz musician (Mauritz “Mo” Muller), and DJ (DJ Deed Darkly) where invited to perform as an aside to the art.

When next that evening of high-fives, knuckle-bumping, hugs, deep conversations, munching, gulping, smiles, and art appreciation comes around again, here’s hoping that you’ll join the tsunami that is an Assemblage Open Studio - This time, with a bit more insight on what goes on behind the scenes.


Fresh Produce, a Group Exhibition

Print PDF

Assemblage is pleased to present a curated group exhibition at TAF’14 titled ‘Fresh Produce’.  The exhibition will showcase emerging artists who are producing engaging and excellent work at TAF’14 between 17 - 20 July 2014.

The exhibition uses the Turbine Hall and Newtown as its starting point.  Works that have been produced for the show respond in some way to the following series of quotes about the history of the area:

The explosion is said to have destroyed 1 500 houses in the former ‘slum areas’,... locations in the Burghersdorp Brickfields (roughly in the area of Fordsburg and Newtown) and in the ‘Malay’ location in Vrededorp (Fietas).  The explosives were rumoured to be intended for the Jameson Raid.  Left homeless, people re-organised their lives and moved into the neighbouring slums, ‘creating considerably more racial intermingling than the boundaries on formal maps’ Keith Beavon, 2004, Johannesburg: The making and Shaping of the City, 75. Footnote from not no place p150

‘Newtown gradually became home to the town’s fresh produce and livestock markets, relocated from the original Market Square in 1913’ The Joburg Book, Nechama Brodie, p.133

‘Much of our vocabulary draws on work on the African metropolis which describes the ‘interplay between what is “visible” and what is “invisible”, between appearance and disappearance’ and between surface and depth.’ Not no place, Dorethee Kreutzfeld and Bettina Malcolmess, pg14

The conversations that develop between the works speak broadly to the history of the area but also to our identity as South Africans and our ongoing struggles with understanding the urban versus rural spaces that so many of us exist between.

Exhibiting artists are:

Adelheid Von Maltitz, Allen Laing, Anastasia Pather, Angus MacKinnon, Anthea Pokroy, Audrey Anderson, Bronwen Salton, Carly Whitaker, Dot Vermeulen, Ferdinand Kidd, Jessica Foli, Katrine Claassens, Kwanele Mboso, Leandre Le Roux, Lungile Zuma, Mandy Coppes-Martin, Maria van Rooyen, Minenkulu Ngoyi, Mirella Bandini, Nathan Jansen Van Vuuren, Nellien Brewer, Oliver Mayhew, Pebofatso Mokoena, Pierre le Riche, Portia Dube, Ross Passmoor, Sakhile Gumbi, Sandile Radebe, Setlamorago Mashilo, Shenaz Mahomed, Similo Hlatshwayo, Suzy Bernstein, Tabita Rezaire, Tawanda Mufambi, Yael Feldman

This project is supported by Rand Merchant Bank


TAF’14 - Turbine Art Fair aims to provide annual platforms to emerging artists and galleries to showcase their work to a new young, sophisticated Afropolitan audience with the ultimate goal of educating and enriching lives and making art accessible. The Turbine Art Fair 2014 will be held 18 - 20 July 2014. A proud production of the forum company, the    go-to company in Johannesburg for up-market, stylish and sophisticated events.  Defined by Art | style | fine food.


Available Studio Spaces

Print PDF

We have three studio spaces available.

1. 22sqm shared studio for R1500/month (shared between 2 people)

2. 40sqm shared studio for R1600/month (shared between 3 people)

3. 30sqm shared studio for R1850/month (shared between 2 people)

To apply send the following information to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
- A CV
- 5 - 10 images of your artworks
- two references
- and a motivational letter

Rental includes electricity, water, internet, 24 hour access


Out of the Cube Exhibition

Print PDF

We currently have an exhibition on the online platform outoftheCUBE.

Go find out a bit more about some of the artists we have been working with and what makes the Assemblage Studios so exciting!

To view the exhibition click here.


Life Drawing 2014

Print PDF

Improve your Drawing skills, follow the masters and draw from life…

Join us for a life drawing the last Saturday of every month at the Assemblage Studios in Newtown.

Classes Start at 9am and finish at 1pm. The classes run on a monthly fee of R450. This includes a full morning of life drawing with two live models, a light snack, tea and coffee or wine. Easels will be provided. However members will be required to bring their own paper and drawing materials. Safe parking will be available. Members will not be reimbursed for classes missed.  No pictures of the models are permitted. Membership into the life drawing group is strictly up to the discretion of the facilitator and the Assemblage managerial team.

Upcoming dates:




To apply for the classes please click here.

Space is limited.

Further information will be sent on approval of your application.


Joburg Sketchers and Assemblage Collaboration

Print PDF

Assemblage collaborates with Joburg Sketchers and explores urban sketching the First Friday of every month.

Come join us!

Next Sketch Crawl: 1 August 2014

Time: 14:00

Place: Meet at Assemblage's Studios Newtown, 41 Gwi Gwi Mrwebi St, Newtown.  Directions can be found here.

More about Joburg Sketchers:
Joburg Sketchers is coordinated by Cathy Gatland and operates under the guidelines of the international Urban Sketchers movement, of which Cathy is the Johannesburg correspondent. Urban Sketchers is a nonprofit organisation whose mission as a nonprofit is to raise the artistic, storytelling and educational value of location drawing, promoting its practice and connecting people around the world with drawings. 

The Joburg branch has a small group of dedicated sketchers of all ages, stages and drawing styles who are inspired by Joburg streets, buildings, people and activities.

They sketch from direct observation and share sketches online, the group is looking to grow.So if you want to have fun and meet new people, get involved .

The Manifesto that Joburg  Sketchers follows:
We draw on location, indoors or out, capturing what we see from direct observation.
Our drawings tell the story of our surroundings, the places we live and where we travel.
Our drawings are a record of time and place.
We are truthful to the scenes we witness.
We use any kind of media and cherish our individual styles.
We support each other and draw together.
We share our drawings online.
We show the world, one drawing at a time

For more information please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Follow Joburg Sketchers on Facebook


Artists 'Rent-a-desk' per day

Print PDF

Part of Assemblage’s mission is to provide support and networking for as many Johannesburg based artists as possible. So, we will now be offering a daily rent-a-desk/easel option at the NewARC.

How it works:
For individual artists: The NewARC has a large workshop area which can accommodate up to 5 individual artists at a time. Artists who are looking for a space on a temporary or part-time basis to make work can book a spot for a day. The artist will find themselves in a vibrant and proactive community at the NewARC and will benefit by engaging with other artists and by receiving input on their work. Rates: R70 per artist per day

For groups: This space can also be booked by groups to facilitate workshops including for training or life drawing etc. For workshops, the space can be booked for one day or longer. Rates: On request, dependent on time period

What you get:
Desks, Chairs, Easel (if required), Internet access
Access to the NewARC library and kitchen facilities
Access to and engagement with the NewARC community

Click here to make a booking.

| + -