In conversation with Magalies Arts Co-op

Magaliesburg has always been known as a haven for artists and a treasure trove of talent spanning a wide range of artistic mediums. Recognising the immense potential for the town’s artists to benefit from collaboration and for their work to be showcased on a broader platform, the MDI established an informal artists’ collective in 2014.

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The Magalies Arts Co-op was officially registered in March 2017 – its purpose being to promote fine arts, market local products, create opportunities for artists to exhibit their work and offer classes and workshops. The Co-op is also actively assisting local artists, musicians and poets to realise their dreams.

Mme Mogale, the “wire lady” of Magaliesburg, tells a story of such connection and collaboration. The Magalies artists’ collective joined forces to create this Nedbank-commissioned, three-metre high wire sculpture for the first Magalies Rocks the Cradle Festival held in 2016. Employing only recycled materials, they tackled the challenge of creating an artwork that reflects the creative spirit of the town of Magalies, whilst also depicting the importance of connection and networks in any community.

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The art scene in Magaliesburg has seen an exciting series of opportunities unfold over the past few years. What was merely kickstarted in the form of an informal collective, has opened doors for the town’s artists.

This year, for example, the potters and wire artists of Magaliesburg were invited to:

  • Exhibit at Montecasino on invitation of the Department of Rural Development

  • Display their wares at Decorex in Johannesburg

  • Showcase their products at the Rand Easter Show

  • Obtain shelf space at a curio store at OR Tambo airport

  • Export their products to Italy upon invitation of a contact made at Decorex.

I would say that the MDI has helped pave the way for people to get to know one another better. Personal communication has improved. I might have recognised a face, but now I know the person behind the face and I know where that person fits into the picture. This makes collaboration that much easier. We know where to go for help.
— Sam Savage, Fine artist & founder: Magalies Arts Co-Op