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Making moves

Aug 26, 2019 | Design

Stevenson makes its new home in the arty hub of Parktown North

After spending nearly a decade in the urban locale of Braamfontein, Stevenson Johannesburg has relocated its gallery space to Parktown North. The gallery’s new address is on 7th Avenue – a strip which links hubs between Parktown North, Rosebank and Parkhurst, and which is also easily accessible by Gautrain.

The decision to move is a result of long process of consultation between gallery directors, artists and supporters, with a view to broadening the gallery’s accessibility. “While I have always respected Stevenson’s commitment to the ecosystem around Wits, I have freely spoken with the gallery partners about how geography can limit one’s audience. At some point the mountain has to come to Muhammad, and we are looking forward to shaking things up in the north,” says Robin Rhode.

The new venue was built in the early 20th century as a family residence – with a cowshed alongside the house in the original plans. In order to preserve and contribute to the building’s history, Stevenson director David Brodie approached Tonic’s Greg Gamble and Philippe van der Merwe. “We are delighted to be involved in the transformation of a classic Parktown North house into a new home for Stevenson. Our intention with the renovation is to retain the historical integrity and charm of the original building, at the same time gently transforming the interior to create a minimal environment conducive to viewing art.”

Beyond the doors the new venue opens, and opportunity for different creative pursuits, it comes with certain practical upsides. For the first time Stevenson Johannesburg will have dedicated parking and wheelchair access, and proximity to various hospitality hotspots in the neighbourhood, as well as a growing contingent of other galleries (making it more accessible than ever for art-lovers and buyers).

“One of the things I have always enjoyed about how we function as a gallery in Joburg is our flexibility and interest in experiencing different parts of the city. It has been almost a decade since we were last in the north, and I am excited to reintroduce the gallery and our artists to audiences there,” says Brodie.

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