Riebeek Kasteel

Riebeek Kasteel, above, and its sister town of Riebeek West are two of the oldest towns in South Africa. Image: Adobe Stock

Head to Riebeek Valley for a chilled weekend of art and culture

Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West will celebrate artists of the Riebeek Valley by hosting a three-day arts showcase in December.

Riebeek Kasteel

Riebeek Kasteel, above, and its sister town of Riebeek West are two of the oldest towns in South Africa. Image: Adobe Stock

Nestled on a mountainside overlooking a magnificent valley, and surrounded by olive groves and rolling vineyards, the Riebeek Valley is a hidden treasure that offers a beautiful and tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. 

The valley’s spectacular scenery and quiet seclusion have made it a haven for artists and many of South Africa’s celebrated talents call this idyllic corner of the Western Cape home.

The “Arts Town”, as it is also known, lives up to its moniker when the annual Solo Studios event is held in the twin towns of Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West. 

Riebeek Kasteel
Riebeek Kasteel, above, and its sister town, Riebeek West are a haven for artists. Image: Adobe Stock

The Solo Studios event will be held from 11 to 13 December, and will see the local artists opening their studios to art lovers and aficionados, allowing them into their private workspaces and offering them an insight into their creative processes.

Art collectors, art lovers and the general public will also be able to buy work from the artists directly.

Festival of Art, Olives, Food and Wine 

The event will offer much more than just fine art. Solo Kitchens will host canapé-and-wine pairing events in the homes of some of the best local chefs, and there will be wine tastings of several of the award-winning Swartland wines from various estates at an Art of Wine tasting event. 

There will also live entertainment, ranging from avant-garde theatre performances from actor Marcel van Heerden and friends, performance poet Donker Jonker and The Mirrorsister, as well as live music. 

The Olive Branch Project

Non-profit organisation the Olive Branch Project is in the early stages of preparing a large-scale community production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, with performers and designers exploring the play’s themes of division, prejudice, love and reconciliation.

Visitors to the Solo Studios event will be able to watch demonstration rehearsals led by Mark Graham-Wilson, as well as explore an exhibition documenting the performances, productions and skills initiatives of the Olive Branch Project. 

There are three ticket tiers:

  • Premier weekend pass (R395): Includes all studios, galleries and exhibitions, guided walkabouts and an invitation to the official opening cocktail event;
  • Weekend pass (R295): Includes all studios, galleries and exhibitions; and
  • Day pass (R150 to R195) for Friday, Saturday or Sunday: Includes all studios, galleries and exhibitions for the day.

Solo Studios: What you need to know

Date: 11 to 13 December

Time:  Friday and Saturday 08:00 to 17:00; Sunday 08:00 to 16:00.