On the evening of the 29th of August, the Visual Arts, Design, and Photography students displayed their phenomenal works in Rustenburg’s annual art exhibition in the Thompson Hall. The exhibition is a chance for the girls to present their achievements to their parents and peers and take pride in the outcome of their many hours of hard work. Every year, the works seem more and more noteworthy, with a tremendous amount of time, effort and thought having gone into each and every artwork.
Snacks and drinks, as well as a photo from the new, highly popular photo-booth, were enjoyed just outside the exhibition hall. The guest speaker, Julia Kabat, who matriculated from Rustenburg Girls in 2011, shared her personal story as an artist. Julia studied at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, ultimately majoring in sculpture and screen printing.
Art is sometimes judged as being only about creativity and expression, but, as Julia came to understand after studying at a heavily academic art school such as Michaelis, art also takes immense dedication and discipline.
After graduating from Michaelis, however, Julia realised that to become a full-time artist was not what she truly wanted. She decided to study further to become an art curator. This career played to all her strengths – it involved art and creativity, but also organisation and a strategic eye for the overall effect of the placement of pieces in a museum.
Julia went on to work as a curator at the Israel Museum of Art. She explained in her presentation the complex logistics of a big exhibition, and how her studies of fine art at Michaelis, as well as her high school design and visual arts knowledge, came in handy. She reflected on her time in high school and of the things she enjoyed most. Her high school experiences at Rustenburg “taught her to think critically and not just accept given truths”. Rustenburg also taught her to work smartly with time, thus preparing her for the creative rigour required in her career. She acknowledged that the creative industry is a highly critical space and therefore does come with a lot of pressure.
One quality that Julia stressed was the ability to play. She also mentioned that everyone has the ability to be a curator these days through social media. She ended off with a hopeful sentiment about our country as a whole: that we continue to grab the world’s attention, but with our creativity, because creativity is limitless.
Article by Nicole Oosthuisen
Photographs by Samira Anwar