Indulge in the Beauty of Arts & Crafts from Graaff-Reinet to Nieu-Bethesda
The first step towards artistic enrichment during your next vacation in the Karoo is to book a guest house in Graaff-Reinet. You will need ample time to visit the many art jewels in and around Graaff-Reinet. Of course, the best guest house to book is certainly KarooRus with its luxury self-catering apartments and central location.
But… let us talk about the art of Graaff-Reinet and surrounds for a moment.
The original artists of the Karoo were the Xam group who left visual stories of their history on the cave walls of the Karoo. Indeed, well over 59 000 such cave painting sites are to be found in the Karoo and if you are a historian, there is no reason to wait. Book a guest house in Graaff-Reinet right now and stay for a while to ensure that you have enough time to visit as many as possible rock painting sites.
Graaff-Reinet is certainly the art lover’s dream destination with places such as the Jan Rupert Art Centre, Camdeboo National Park with its rock paintings, and the display of contemporary artworks at the Hester Rupert Museum. Photographers, likewise, will love the surrounds offering superb nature photography opportunities.
The nearby town of Nieu-Bethesda is worth a visit because it is home to the famous Owl House with its numerous sculptures and one-of-a-kind arts by Helen Martins and equally famous Koos Malgas.
So, which artists can claim the Karoo as their home? Many, but you may recognise names such as Athol Fugard and Albert Redelinghuys.
Many of the local artworks are also displayed in the shops and galleries of Graaff-Reinet and nearby towns. The Biblical scholar will certainly appreciate the Biblical Panels, which were the handwork of five ladies. The splendour of the works lies in the beautiful collage arrangements. You will be able to see the works at the Aberdeen Dutch Reformed Church Hall. Aberdeen is another town within short driving distance from Graaff-Reinet.
We recommend taking a day or two to visit the various art galleries, potteries and craft shops in the towns of Nieu-Bethesda and Graaff-Reinet. Start with the Hester Rupert Art Museum in Church Street followed by a visit to the Jan Rupert Centre in Middle Street. Make your way to the Windmill Junction at the corner of Bourke and Somerset Streets for artistically inspired jewellery, furniture and crafts.
Do not forget about the ACVV Workplace for the Disabled located in Industria Street, which can be visited Mondays to Fridays for handmade arts and crafts. If you are looking for African crafts drop in at the African Adventure located on the corner of Church and Parsonage Streets and for unique mosaic and pottery work, visit OBESA Pottery and Mosaics.
From Graaff-Reinet, drive to Nieu-Bethesda for a visit of the Bethesda Art Centre housing stunning quilts and beautiful local arts. Also, visit the Ware on Earth Gallery & Ceramics to view the clay and abstract sculptures in addition to plates by Charmaine Haines.
Do not miss out on the opportunity to see the sculpture works of Frans Boekkooi at his studio next to the brewery and end the visit to Nieu-Bethesda with a walk-through of the Owl House before returning to KarooRus for a well-deserved rest.