As we celebrate Youth Day this month, it seems apt to bring you the latest on Ardmore Ceramic Art's Winter School. In its third year, the programme runs for three months from May to July and aims to uncover new talent and give a lucky few the opportunity to hone their skills and potentially gain full-time employment at Ardmore.
This year's intake of 30 students under the guidance of Fee Halsted, Wiseman Ndlovu and Megan Berning will be taught drawing, painting and sculpting, plus business, art history, marketing and finance. Fee says: "Art is not a subject taught in government schools, so I think Winter School helps to build art awareness and a value around the arts and creativity."
Many of the students come from low-income families, so developing a skill that could provide financial security is a huge opportunity. Fee has always offered the chance for those who want to train at Ardmore to do so but Winter School has now become a more formal learning experience, taking place throughout the winter months in KZN.
Ardmore's Winter School success stories include Fiso Hadebe, who has gone on to become Ardmore's top salesman; Thobani Malinga a talented painter and Phomotso Mafura who is becoming an exceptional sculptor. Nozipho Ntshanlinshali, daughter of Jabu Nene, is continuing in her mother's footsteps, carving out a wonderful career as an Ardmore Artist. As Wiseman Ndlovu says, "It gives me great pleasure to grow more artists for Ardmore, to make Ardmore live on, when I and others are gone."