The Gugulective, The Building Is the Man, 2008. Installation view at Association for Visual Arts (AVA), Cape Town. Photo: The Gugulective. Courtesy the artists and AVA
The Association for Visual Arts (AVA), in partnership with Spier, is one of Cape Town’s oldest nonprofit art galleries showcasing contemporary South African art in all media. The gallery has been situated on these premises, in the heart of the city center, since 1971—first as the Metropolitan Gallery and then in partnership with Spier, which recently bought the building from Metropolitan.
AVA’s main priority is the promotion and advancement of visual art and artists in South Africa, with particular emphasis on artists from the Western Cape, both established and emerging, formally trained, and self-taught.
The Salon at the AVA is a gallery-cum-office space fronting the Church Street Mall, an art hub of the city center and home to many tourists, visitors, and locals.
As opposed to AVA’s four formal exhibition spaces, which host four-week-long, temporary exhibitions, the Salon is a relaxed area where artwork by artists from the region are showcased for longer periods in an informal, non-curated space, without focusing on any specific theme, genre, or style. Most of the artists featured in the Salon have exhibited with AVA at some stage, but new artists may also be accepted after consultation with gallery staff.