Durban – The countdown to the festive season has begun, and preparations are in full swing at the KZNSA art gallery, where the annual BuzzArt Christmas fair is scheduled to start in the next few days.
For at least a month, crafters sitting outside the entrance of the gallery have already been selling uniquely African Christmas trees and wreaths made from red, white and green beads.
Now the official event starts, and the mission is to ensure there is a gift for everyone.
Gallery executive director Angela Shaw said BuzzArt22 is a local-only Christmas fair, giving crafters and designers an opportunity to display their work from mid-November to mid-January.
“Most of the stock is on consignment, so it gives designers an opportunity to test their product in the marketplace,” said Shaw.
She said this made the gallery a valuable place for providing retail experience to crafters who might not have had the opportunity before.
“This year’s theme celebrates fresh starts and new leases on life, with the focus on sustainable, sophisticated design practices,” said Shaw.
She said the gallery craft shop, which runs all year, and six days a week, is expanded to take over the whole gallery during this period.
The gallery only stocks South African goods, with a focus on Durban crafters and designers, although some ranges are from Cape Town.
The fair happens as people start looking for Christmas presents, and it gives them a chance to support local entrepreneurs and display local talent from designers and crafters as well as goods made from wire work, textiles, ceramics, beads and other arts.
“We take a lot of care with quality control. There are many elements that go into a good design, but a lot of people are not retail ready, and some people need guidance around things like colour, technique and finishing,” Shaw said.
BuzzArt has invited artists to send photos of their products beforehand via WhatsApp 083 384 3660 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to determine its suitability for the fair.
“In recent years, we’ve embraced the circular economy and expanded the offering at BuzzArt into pre-loved and gently worn clothing, accessories and home-ware,” said Shaw.
She said all items reconfigured from goods destined for landfill sites were especially welcome.
BuzzArt22 runs from November 18 to January 15.
The Independent on Saturday