Rosebank, the art district
Rosebank is undeniably the biggest art district in Joburg. Our neighbourhood has the highest concentration of major art galleries all centred within walking distance of each other, and plenty of public art to enjoy too. The latest addition to the precinct’s art scene is the return of First Thursdays at Keyes Art Mile. Here’s a look at Rosebank’s key art attractions to plan a day around.
Keyes Art Mile
An impressive contemporary development on Keyes Avenue launched in 2016 that celebrates local art and design as well as fine food. Keyes Art Mile’s main building The Trumpet is home to the innovative TMRW Gallery and Banele Khoza’s BKhz gallery, while the vast atrium at its centre is curated as a pop-up exhibition space. Upstairs there’s a cluster of slick restaurants and bars, while chic cafés open out onto a street flanked by wild olive trees. Further adding to the many art attractions in this dedicated art precinct are the major contemporary art galleries Circa and Everard Read.
Also recently reintroduced is First Thursdays at Keyes Art Mile, a monthly art offering where Keyes Art Mile’s galleries stay open until late (usually closing around 21:00) with openings, talks, screenings and other events often occurring in conjunction. Find out more here first-thursdays.co.za
Everard Read Gallery
Opened in 1913, Everard Read Gallery is Africa’s oldest commercial art gallery. The gallery moved from Johannesburg’s city centre to its current location in Rosebank in the late 1970s. The building in which it is housed (situated opposite The Trumpet on Keyes Art Mile) is a celebrated icon of South African post-modern architecture. Everard Read Gallery has a full annual calendar of new exhibitions and showcases many top South African artists and sculptors. Find out more here everard-read.co.za/
Across the road from Everard Read, also on Keyes Art Mile, is Everard Read’s sister gallery Circa. The building itself is a local architectural landmark with its circular structure and metal fins reaching into the sky. Head to the top-floor deck for an extraordinary view over the leafy suburbs. Find out more here everard-read.co.za/
Young South African artist and gallerist Banele Khoza moved his gallery from Braamfontein to Rosebank in 2021, finding a new home next to the Croft and Co coffee shop on Keyes Avenue. The gallery focuses on promoting young and upcoming artists. Find out more here bkhz.art/
FotoZA at Rosebank Mall
South Africa’s first dedicated photography gallery, FotoZA, is located inside Rosebank Mall and showcases historic and contemporary work by South African photographers and photojournalists. The gallery has its own café and adjoining the space is Kameraz, Joburg’s leading camera shop that sells new and second-hand cameras and can also assist with camera repairs. Artists can also book the gallery space for exhibitions. Find out more here fotoza.co.za/
Aspire Art Auctions Gallery
Aspire Art Auctions is one of South Africa’s top fine art auction houses, particularly known for their exciting auctions of modern and contemporary South African art. At their gallery and showroom at 32 Bolton Road you can view exhibitions of the latest artworks going on sale, always a not-to-be-missed opportunity to admire interesting artworks that are not often on view to the public. Find out more here aspireart.net/
Rosebank Arts and Craft Market
The Rosebank Arts and Craft Market at Rosebank Mall is a fantastic spot to support local artisans working in traditional crafts. There are more than 100 different stalls selling the biggest collection of handmade items ranging from beaded sculptures and carved masks to hand-woven baskets and ceramics. Most traders are able to make custom designs and everyone is more than happy to bargain over prices. Find out more here rosebankartandcraftmarket.co.za/
ALSO IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
Goodman Gallery is situated on the border of the Rosebank district and the suburb of Parkwood at 163 Jan Smuts Avenue. It is one of the country’s leading galleries, at the forefront of contemporary art in South Africa. The gallery focuses on African and diaspora artists who engage in a dialogue with the African context. Among some of the most famous artists represented by the gallery are William Kentridge, Sam Nhlengethwa and Haroon Gunn-Salie. Find out more here goodman-gallery.com/
David Krut Projects Gallery
Specialising in print work as multiples, editions and unique works by top South African artists, David Krut is also a specialist art book publisher. Their gallery at 142 Jan Smuts Avenue in Parkwood hosts a new exhibition every month, and these exhibitions are usually complemented by a programme of events such as print workshops, talks and demonstrations. Find out more here davidkrutprojects.com/
“Tree of Life” sculpture by Edoardo Villa
A recent installation of a magnificent Edoardo Villa sculpture “Tree of Life” at the corner of Tyrwhitt and Cradock avenues by Blend Property. What has for so long been an unpleasant corner of Rosebank has been transformed to enhance walkability and visitor experience in the neighbourhood.
Elephant mural “Jelani”
Created in partnership with the International Foundation for Animal Welfare in 2016, the popular mural “Jelani” (located at 4 Bolton Road) forms part of South African street artist Sonny’s “To The Bone” project which sought to raise awareness for endangered animals.
Walking Gallery at The Zone @ Rosebank
Launched in collaboration with BrainFarm in 2019, The Zone’s “Walking Gallery” is a celebration of South Africa’s diversity, nature and culture that also seeks to highlight the sense of youthfulness that emanates from this corner of Rosebank. All of the murals in the series were created by leading South African graffiti artist, Falko. Find out more here thezoneatrosebank.co.za/