Press Release: The Javett-UP Art Centre temporarily closed

The Javett-UP Art Centre at UP will be temporarily closed to assist South Africa with implementing social distancing

The Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria (Javett-UP) is a place for people, and in the spirit of social responsibility, has decided to do its part in minimising the spread of Covid-19 and temporarily close for at least a month.

Javett-UP will be closed until 17 April 2020 when the Centre will reassess and decide whether to reopen. This decision will be guided by information and direction from the National Department of Health, other healthcare and epidemiology experts and the University of Pretoria executive.

“Javett-UP is a place where people can come and relate, through art, to others to learn more about themselves and each other and contribute to conversations about Africa’s past, present and future. We have put this measure in place to assist our employees and fellow South Africans in the larger national effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” said Ed Southey, Javett-UP Arts Centre Foundation Trust Chairperson.

“Javett-UP looks forward to opening its doors again when the Covid-19 crisis is behind us. We want nothing more than to continue sharing the ways in which Africa’s artists express the myriad, complex narratives of the continent and why our African-ness matters. However, we are deeply committed to managing Covid-19, flattening the transmission curve and keeping our staff and visitors safe,” said Southey.

In the meantime, please stay in touch with Javett-UP on all its social media platforms and via The Centre is planning big things when it reopens, and will keep people up to date on digital platforms.


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 |