Eye for art
Together they have 40 years’ combined experience in teaching, gallery work and creating artwork. Which is why opening an art studio, coffee shop and gallery was the next obvious step for 26-year-old Michelle and her mom Zelda.
Having opened their business, Eye4Art, just three months ago the mom and daughter duo are very excited to offer a one-stop-shop for arty locals.
After qualifying with a BA degree in Brand Communication, majoring in visual communication and a BA Honours in Fine Art, Michelle started searching for a job that best suited her two degrees. “My mom has always dreamt of opening her own gallery, studio and coffee shop, so when the job contract I had ended, it just seemed like it was time to follow the dream – with lots of support from my father and sister,” says Michelle.
Michelle is skilled in book binding, sculpture, photography, print making, drawing and curating, which is coupled with her mom’s vast knowledge of art from the past 35 years (having taught art classes from home for the last 20 years).
“My mom has supported and pushed me to follow my dreams from the beginning. I’m so blessed to share the same dream as her. It has been the best adventure and I can’t wait to see where it takes us.”
As a self-confessed lover of the great master painters like Vincent Van Gough and Klimt, Michelle says her passion and appreciation started with them. For as long as she can remember Michelle says she has been drawing, painting and taking photos.
More than just a gallery, Eye4Art is a creative space where Durban artists, as well as those from other parts of the country, can exhibit their work, ranging from sculptures and ceramics to drawings, prints, photography and paintings.
“We have a concept we call ‘hot wall hiring’, where artists can submit pieces via email and we choose the ones we believe encapsulate our business. My mom and I also love hunting for up-and-coming new artists and pieces and we like to rotate our art on a monthly basis providing the opportunity for new artists to exhibit.”
A collector herself, Michelle has collected and invested in art with her mom, all of which hang in their family home.
“Our space is for the public and we hope it becomes a place for all artists and creatives. We also have an art shop where we stock a variety of high end art brands and there is a workshop space for art demonstrations, classes, guest artists, evening classes and our newest concept of ‘hot easel hiring’ where you can hire an easel to use for the day. The opportunities for artists are endless.”
With a homey feel and vibrant atmosphere full of inspiration and artistic expression, the venue also features a small coffee shop where they serve small meals, breakfasts and beverages.
“Luckily my mom and I both share the same taste in décor and love a combination of classic antiques and modern contemporary – so it’s a bit of a combination with raw wood, steel and glass furniture that we designed and made locally.”
There is also a ‘feature wall’ with light fittings that holds an extra special place in their hearts as it was a project they tackled together when creating the shop.
“Our slogan is ‘capture, express, inspire’ and it encapsulates the essence of our business. We offer a meeting platform for like-minded creatives to find ways to express their creative passion and, in so doing, we hope to inspire those who inspire us. We hope to eventually be able to expand and grow as we find a greater need.”
Details: Find Eye4Art on the second floor Sunningdale Shopping Centre, 1 Village Way | contact Michelle on 083 951 3747 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Text: Monique De Villiers-Delport | Photographs: Melissa Mitchell Photography, www.melissamitchell.co.za/
Get It Magazine Ballito/Umhlanga – October 2018