Javett Foundation appoints four new trustees

The Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria (Javett-UP) has announced the appointment of four new trustees of the Javett Arts Centre Foundation that governs Javett-UP. The new trustees are Catherine Kennedy, Gabi Ngcobo, Professor Bhekizizwe Peterson and Isaac Shongwe.

Foundation board chairperson Ed Southey made the announcement last week. The board, he said, is pleased that persons of the stature and experience of the four new members have agreed to serve the Foundation and Javett-UP. “I am confident each of the new trustees will make a significant contribution to our work, and to the affairs of the art centre,” he said.

They will attend their first board meeting later this month.

Catherine Kennedy has been a civil society consultant to the Javett Foundation since 2018. She’s a part-time manager of the Constitutional Court Trust and has been a programme specialist to the United Nations Development Programme in Iraq. She also served (from 2009 to 2016) as director at the South African History Archive. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Information and Library Science (UCT) and a University of Pietermaritzburg Bachelor of Arts degree.

Gabi Ngcobo holds a BA in Fine Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal) and a master’s in Curatorial Studies (Bard College, New York, United States). She’s a co-founder of 3rd Eye Vision artists’ collective; the Centre for Historical Reenactments; and the NGO Nothing Gets Organised. Last year she curated All in a Day’s Eye: Politics of Innocence in the Javett Art Collection (which remains on exhibition at Javett-UP) and Mating Birds Vol. II at the KZNSA Gallery. In 2018, she curated We Don’t Need Another Hero at the 10th Berlin Biennale. She’s been a lecturer at the Wits School of Arts and is an advisor to the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam.

Professor Bhekizizwe Peterson is Professor of African Literature at Wits University and holds a Wits PhD in African Literature. He has written four screenplays (Fools, Zulu Love Letter, Zwelidumile and By All Means Necessary) and five documentaries (Born into Struggle, Zwelidumile, The Battle for Johannesburg, Miners Shot Down and By All Means Necessary). His work has garnered numerous awards including an Emmy Award and an Amnesty International Human Rights Jury Award (for Miners Shot Down); and a Best Documentary Award (for Zwelidumile in 2010 at the 16th Edition of the Festival Black Screens).

Isaac Shongwe is a founder and chairman of Letsema. He was also an executive director at Barloworld Limited. He is a co-founder of the African Leadership Initiative (part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network) and founder of the Young African Leadership Initiative, and is chairman of the Wits Business School Advisory Board. Isaac was educated at Wesleyan University (Connecticut, United States) and Oxford University, where he obtained an MPhil in Management Studies.

Notes for editors

Javett Foundation background

The Javett Foundation is a South African charitable trust established in 2013 by the Javett family interests. The aim of the Foundation is to support philanthropic activities in line with the family’s long-standing interest in, and support of, education and skills development, and its ongoing commitment to the art.

Background to the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria (Javett-UP)

Michael Javett, a passionate patron of the arts, approached (the late) Stephan Welz several years ago to assist with identifying works to purchase. Over the years, the Javett Foundation built a significant collection of South African art.

Mr. Javett wished to invest in a vehicle that would allow the public to access this collection, and have an impact on the community. Mr. Javett and Mr. Welz met with Professor Antony Melck, a former member of the Executive at the University of Pretoria and the seeds for the Javett-UP were sown.

Christopher Till, who has extensive experience in the arts sector (having been the Director of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, the Johannesburg Art Gallery and is founding Director of the Apartheid Museum) was approached and the concept for the Javett-UP Art was born.

The Javett-UP aims to grow the creativity that epitomises the continent through permanent and temporary exhibitions, multi-disciplinary events and performances, and extensive research and educational initiatives.

With one foot firmly rooted in academia, and the other embedded in the public, the Javett-UP aims to make the art of Africa accessible, relevant and engaging.

The Building

The building was designed by award-winning firm, Mathews & Associates, and is a metaphorical and physical representation of ‘bridging’ the University of Pretoria and the city of Tshwane.

Issued by Flow Communications for and on behalf of the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria

Contact: Allison MacDonald | Tel: 082 771 2541 | allison@flowsa.com