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Georgina Gratrix - Flowers for Frank who is on a diet (2017)

Oil on canvas, 55 x 40 cm

It is not unusual to find artworks by William Kentridge, Penny Siopis, Athi-Patra Ruga and Jane Alexander leading an auction sale. These contemporary art stars with impressive international profiles generate attention. However, the appearance of significant works produced and donated by these leading figures at the Siyakhula Michaelis Auction that took place on 17 October at the art school, was a landmark occasion.

Funds raised by the auction are to be used towards substantial scholarships, earmarked for promising students from historically disadvantaged backgrounds who are in financial need, ensuring greater diversity at the university. In this way established artists will pave the way for the next generation, living up to the title Siyakhula, which in isiXhosa means ‘together we grow’.

When you consider some of Michaelis’s leading graduates -  Nandipha Mntambo, Mikhael Subotzky and Marlene Dumas – it becomes clear how life-changing this scholarship could be for a young artist.

Artists with proven records at auctions – Sue Williamson, Deborah Bell and Georgina Gratrix – were featured in the Siyakhula Michaelis Auction alongside those who have never tested this territory such as new comers Bronwyn Katz and Siwa Mgoboza. 

Aspire Art Auctions conducted a live auction in the Hiddingh Hall at the Michaelis School of Fine Art on the 17th October 2018. An online auction took place on their website prior to that date. 

The auction was well supported by various pro-bono contributions. Those who believe in supporting emerging artists, diversity at tertiary levels and the value of education were encouraged to participate and bid generously.