In Johannesburg’s inner city lies an exclusive art building, housing more than 40 independent, pan-African contemporary artists, in private art studios, known to the locals as ‘The Artists’ Playground’. To the outsider it’s just a 1940s historic structure until one crosses the threshold and sees where the magic lives, in five storeys of private art studios. August House gives artists a unique creative hub. With its high columns, authentic architecture and large open plan floors, it’s a wonderful blend of inspiration and stillness. Once a light industrial warehouse space, August House celebrates 15 years as a well-established, local and international contemporary African artists community, within walking distance from the Maboneng, Arts on Main district.
August House was established as an enclave for artists in 2006 by Bie Venter and Maria Svane. Its notable tenants have included artists such as Mary Sibanda, Dineo Seshee Bopape and Lawrence Lemaoana, Mbongeni Richman Buthelezi, Gordon Froud and Joseph Gaylard, Nontobeko Ntombela, Gabi Ngcobo, Gonçalo Mabunda, Jacki McInnes, Nelson Makamo, Bie Venter, Kudzanai Chiurai and Nicholas Hlobo. The space has both survived and thrived on the backs of these artists and their interest in developing relationships and community level engagement.
The building was sold in 2016 and during the transition more formal studio spaces where created for young up and coming artists. Currently there are over 40 artists housed within the building.
While August House was created to initially provide a studio space for local artists, the space has extended its programming.
All programming is focused on the support and development of the artists and the visual arts industry as a whole.
A Space that fuels creativity, ignites minds, and provides inspiration through incubation and collaboration.
August House is the epicentre where proud African talent meets international convention and interest.
The artists open their doors to the public to showcase their work. This takes place twice a year.
We host walkabouts and private tours for Collectors, Gallerists and Curators as well as in-house networking events.
We host workshops and a discussion series called “The artists discuss” through out the year.
The META foundation runs a local and international residency programme for artists outside of the Studio Building.
There are 2 awards that August House hosts, namely the Womxn to Watch award and the Thami Mnyele Residency award.
We host two year long funded studio awards for women and LGBTIQ+ artists through an annual call for applications.
We provide social media marketing platforms for the artists within the building.