The Association for Visual Arts Gallery
The AVA Gallery, aka The Association for Visual Arts Gallery, is a non-profit, membership-based arts organisation with their main focus being on promoting and advancing South African contemporary art and artists. The AVA originates from the South African Fine Arts Society, the first organised art body in South Africa and is based in the heart of Cape Town – 35 Church Street – where it has been housed since 1971.
The AVA Gallery houses contemporary visual art in its widest definition, thus including performance, fashion, graphic design, film & video, new media etc. the list goes on, by artists from all backgrounds and heritages.
While occupying a neutral space in the Cape Town arts ecosystem, the AVA has significant local and national relevance, and aims to consistently increase public awareness of visual art through its exhibitions and similar activities. All AVA activities are acted on the principles of shared decision-making, experimentation, and collaboration.
AVA founded an ArtReach Programme, with the aim to fund artists in need of support. This support is given in the form of skills transfer, infrastructure, materials, and exposure. In addition to this, the AVA have also (during the pandemic lockdown) started their own podcast series called Lounge+. Bringing conversations with artists, from their lounge/home to yours to talk about all things “art”, getting to know the people behind the artworks and exhibitions we love.
The AVA consists of four permanent staff as well as a board of voluntary directors from all walks of life and vocations that make up a selection committee. The AVA, its artists, and selection committee endeavour to promote the discursive and experimental nature of contemporary art.