Andries Botha, “The Elephant,” 2009. Exhibition view at KZNSA, Durban. Courtesy the artist
The KZNSA, founded 108 years ago and located in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, was initially established as an informal opportunity for artists to discuss, exhibit, and market their work. During the past century, the organization has been through a number of radical transformations, and today it is the province’s premier contemporary art gallery hosting exhibitions of local, national, and international importance.
There are a number of components to the organization. The shop develops and markets local craft and design, and is also an important outlet in the province for design from the rest of the country. The outreach programs provide art and culture education development activities with strategic partners. However, the key component of the organization is its gallery exhibitions and public programs.
The KZNSA is a not-for-profit, member-based, public benefit organization. It is governed by a democratically elected council, with specialist ad hoc committees. This places the KZNSA in a unique position, straddling the divide between non-profit contemporary public art space on the one hand, and a gallery that has the benefit of the artist in mind on the other. This unique position presents many exciting challenges to an organization that serves the interests of a broad community of artists.