The COSDEF Arts & Craft Centre in Swakopmund has received a colourful new facade, thanks to art students who painted the 72-metre long external wall in decorative eye-catching patterns last week.
The project was led by German mural artist, Edeltraut Rath, who previously teamed with Niki Marais to deco-paint the Windhoek-based Augustineum Secondary School facade in 2003, and again last year. As such the COSDEF mural project has been called Festival of Diversity 2. Edeltraut was joined by COSDEF’’s 19 young visual arts trainees, plus COTA (College of the Arts) in Windhoek, as well as three prison inmates who are doing art and leather craft course at the centre. The mural painting project also coincided with Project Week, and took two weeks to complete.
Edeltraut explains that she taught the students the basic steps of mural painting, and worked on the project with the team from start to finish to co-ordinate colour and pattern design. The students were first required to make sketches of wall designs with the best ones’ chosen by the group. From there stencils were cut out, and the long process of outlining funky shapes on the lengthy wall was laid down, before actually filling them in. It was a co-ordinated effort, and took the team hours each day to paint in the different colours, which were mostly purple, pink and turquoise, with various shapes and patterns linking one incredible visual display.
“We are so proud of the students, and this is really unique to Swakopmund, which will stand proud for everyone who drives past,” says Michelle //Inixas (COSDEF National Arts & Craft coordinator). “We really want our wall to attract attention to COSDEF and invite people to come inside and see our craft centre as well as the exciting and creative courses we offer.”
Now that the students have this “master piece” to show for their efforts, they also learnt so much from this experience, and COSDEF is thinking of taking this idea even further. “Our art students now have the talent to turn mural painting into an income generating activity, and we are considering offering mural paintings and sign writing in the future to the public or businesses who want to “dolly” up their shop fronts with vibrant and decorative facades.”