Cape Town mural project makes its mark in Athlone

The completion of four murals in Athlone signals the halfway mark in the pilot mural project first initiated in Leonsdale by Cape Town’s Arts and Culture Branch. 
Professional artists from around the City and aspiring artists from Athlone took part in the project which will expand to other areas.
The project consists of the painting of four ground-to-roof wall murals at the City owned flats in Kannabast and Strandroos Close in Kewtown, Athlone.
'With these murals the City hopes to demonstrate the ways in which art can contribute towards transformation in vulnerable communities; establish a positive and stronger neighbourhood identity; and make art more accessible to everyone and thereby improve our public facilities and spaces. 
'Around the world, one can see the growth and value that street art can bring to a community and I would like to see some international street artists visit Cape Town in the near future so that we can draw the attention of tourists, and then share with them the many beautiful public murals that our local artists have done in our city,' said Cape Town Executive Mayor, Dan Plato. 
Artists who lent their creative flair to the project are Eugene Bezuidenhout from Wynberg, visual artists Roscoe Masters and Grant Jurius from Diep River and Elsies River respectively, and part-time arts teacher at the Zonnebloem Children’s Arts Centre, Gary Frier from Kuils River. 
Local emerging artists who took part in the project are Lance Coetzee, Royden Croy, Landen Davids, Matthew de Lange, Julian Wagner, and Kyle Murphy.
‘Public art has become an important focus and brings cultural, social and economic value to neighbourhoods. It reflects our society and can enrich communities. As a creative City, we are committed to enabling all forms of public art as well as nurturing and promoting local artists,’ said the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.
The greater Athlone area is rich in culture and history and the four themes aim to reflect this.
These four themes pay tribute to the anti-apartheid struggle and depict the faces of icons; the various sporting traditions of the area; a celebration of the local cuisine; and the arts and culture history of the area, especially in terms of music and theatre.
‘Mural projects can play an important role in the city because they assist in transforming spaces and communities and make a contribution to social and economic development. We will prioritise storytelling through murals by commissioning local artists; involving community participation including consultation and collaboration; as well as promoting skills transfer and development for community-based artists and emerging artists in communities,' added Councillor Badroodien. 
The large-scale mural project at public housing facilities will be rolled out in all four areas of the city during the next financial year.

See also IPAF 2019 International Public Art Festival