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Art in the Helderberg Nature Reserve

March 13, 2012

A few months ago, the Friends of Helderberg Nature Reserve approached me offering the Western Cape Watercolour Group the opportunity to exhibit some of our art work up at the local Nature Reserve. Of course, we were delighted. It is such a beautiful setting: a vast untouched natural landscape rising up to the top of the majestic Helderberg mountain, which overlooks my guest house and gallery at Penny Lane Lodge in Somerset West. Many of our artists are inspired by nature, so what better place to hold our first exhibition of the year?

Our selection ran smoothly and we chose nearly 60 paintings, which is just about the limit that our stands will accommodate. I was pleased to see that there were a number of paintings of the local area among them, including some of scenes in the Nature Reserve itself. The mix was just right.

Last Saturday was the day of the opening and the committee and I had a busy morning hanging the paintings in the Nature Reserve Information Centre.  The volunteers there had moved the usual exhibits leaving us a nice space in which to arrange our stands and hang the paintings.  I was pleased with the results when we finished at lunchtime, leaving us a few hours to prepare for the opening that evening.

The weather was perfect for the opening, still bright and sunny, with just a gentle breeze. And lots of people came. There was a lovely atmosphere as we gathered under the trees in front of the Information Centre, with our wine glasses charged to listen to Leo, who runs the Imibala Art Centre in Somerset West, give the opening speech.  Leo’s address was just right, encouraging, inspiring and not too long!

We are looking forward to a successful two weeks – the exhibition runs until 23 March. We are particularly indebted to the volunteers from the Information Centre for taking over the sitting duties for us. No sales yet, but we are hopeful that some of the overseas visitors to the Reserve might just want a special souvenir of their visit to this beautiful part of South Africa.

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