CF: Have your original plans for the NWU Gallery had to change completely this year or have you managed to adapt them?
AM: Yes! Unfortunately, we had to change completely. Although we managed to salvage a few projects, some had to adapt virtually. I do commend the artists that trusted us to do a great job virtually with their work.
CF: The NWU Gallery must offer quite fun challenges for a curator, as you have two spaces to play in, one inside and the other a sculpture garden. How do you tackle these two very different spaces and what are your favourite aspects of each?
AM: I was introduced to these two phenomenal spaces first when I started in 2019, it is quite interesting that I learned that there wasn’t a fine art department like I had been exposed to in my training and tertiary life, like one would expect that there would be as this University boasts two galleries. I realised that I had been blessed to manage these two spaces and that the visions I had would be realised with no fuss. I have had an amazing time at the NWU Gallery and envision such a marvellous future for the galleries.
Managing these spaces has been a learning curve and our teamwork is dream work.
CF: As a gallery situated outside of South Africa’s big city centres, do you feel that you can play a more educational and uplifting role than more commercial galleries?
AM: We at the NWU Galleries pride ourselves with our extremely rich and diverse collection. And the aim is to serve the NWU students and staff, but we also open our doors to the wider public and different institutions with panel discussions, walkabouts, and participating in the national festival, which opens up a platform for an external audience.