REPORT TO THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

TUESDAY 20 NOVEMBER 2007

 

WILLIAM HUMPHREYS ART GALLERY

KIMBERLEY

 

 

The mandate of the William Humphreys Art Gallery as a national museum of art is to collect, conserve and hold in trust for our future generations, the nationís artistic heritage as part of the National Estate.

 

 

We believe that the Annual Report for the year ended March 2007 reflects that we have used the annual grant from the Department of Arts and Culture to best benefit for this purpose. The state of the institutionís financial affairs is sound and this is confirmed by the Auditor-Generalís unqualified opinion.

 

 

In this document we have reported how we achieved success in terms of our strategic objectives as set out in the Strategic Plan and would like to summarise and highlight some of these outcomes.

 

 

Transformation of the institution remains one of the most significant objectives and this principle runs through all activities at the gallery. We have consciously worked towards establishing the gallery as a meaningful entity in the community we serve as well as in our province and the country. We believe that transformation is ongoing and therefore we cannot report that it is complete. Our activities are aligned with the national imperatives such as skills transfer, job creation, poverty alleviation, moral regeneration, social cohesion and the building of a national identity. The resources and assets of the institution are used to contribute towards these objectives as we are aware of the enormous role that arts and culture can play in this regard. All programmes and projects are multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary and link together and overlap so that they work towards achieving the common strategic objectives.

 

 

Collections are the life blood of the gallery and although we have been able to spend less than in previous years on acquisitions we have added a number of significant works to the permanent collection. Works by established black artists include Dumisani Mabaso, Durant Sihlali, Sam Nhlengethwa, John Muafangejo, Dumile Feni, Zulu Vuminkosi and Rochester Mafafo. Other artists have also been added but because the funds that were reserved by Council for art purchasing have had to be set aside to offset the institutions liabilities for pension and medical aid as required by the PFMA, we have had a considerably lower growth rate than in previous years. These provisions have been created at the expense of the institutionís strategic objectives and although this was reported in the 2004/2005 financial year no solution to the problem has been offered by the relevant authorities.

 

 

Exhibitions are part of the core function of the gallery. There are 14 exhibition wings and a varied schedule of exhibitions was presented which included works from the permanent collection, 9 loan or travelling exhibitions, established artists, emerging artists, community forums and prison art.

 

 

A programme of special outreach exhibitions consists of South African graphic works from our collection, worksheets and art-making activities that are taken to schools in the deprived rural areas of the Northern Cape by gallery staff for approximately one week every quarter. As art education and art making activities in these areas are almost non-existent the programme is always received with great excitement by learners and teachers alike. The year under review saw the programme being taken to De Aar and Nonzwakazi; Calvinia; Hartswater and Motswedithuto; and Port Nolloth.

 

 

The bridging programme that contributes to Early Childhood Development called Keadumela, has been running at the gallery for 17 years, remains relevant and continues to assist pre-school children from the informal settlements in and around Kimberley. Through art-related activities they are prepared for their formal school careers by stimulating gross and fine motor co-ordination, an awareness of body image, spatial relationships, basic numeracy, eye hand co-ordination etc.

 

 

Women development projects have been run since 2002 and include teaching traditional crafting skills such as embroidery, beading, fabric painting and mosaic art to unemployed black women from the disadvantaged sector. These same skills are presented to female offenders in the Kimberley Correctional Centre and the results have been so rewarding that our staff have been invited to set up similar projects in the Correctional Centres at Douglas and Barkly West. It isnít always easy to quantify success or outcomes but in one specific case, a woman who started with this project at the gallery in 2002 has very recently been paid by the Department of Labour to train female offenders in the Upington Correctional Centre. She has also been paid by the William Humphreys Art Gallery to assist the staff with instruction in the Kimberley Correctional Centre.Two of the female offenders from the Kimberley Correctional Centre have started their own micro enterprises since leaving the Correctional Centre. One of them was recently featured on SABCís Curious Culture. It is our opinion that successes such as these Ė even though they are a drop in the ocean Ė all contribute towards rebuilding the nation. One of the most significant spin-offs of this project has been the rebuilding of self-esteem and self-respect of the offenders as they learn skills with which they can earn a living and this should contribute towards their successful re-integration into society once they have served their sentences.

 

 

A contribution towards youth development is made by presenting arts and crafts workshops at the gallery weekly during the school term and during holidays for youths who do not have access to art making activities.

 

 

Male juvenile offenders in the Kimberley Correctional Centre are instructed by gallery staff in the age old art of mosaics and a number of offenders have benefited from this project. They leave the Correctional Centre once they have served their sentences armed with new skills with which to earn a living and a new sense of self respect.

 

The Department of Arts and Culture sponsored the upgrading of the obsolete equipment in the galleryís auditorium with Transformation Funding and finally our objective of showcasing locally produced film is a reality. We believe that WHAGFILM Ė The Art of African Cinema is a project that not only promotes our local product but will contribute to the building of a shared national identity at a time when our youth is in danger of being overwhelmed by mass-produced Hollywood fare. Monthly screenings are up and running and an educational component for learners is gaining ground as school groups make use of the facility to view their literature set works. The annual WHAG African Film Festival has not yet been launched as we have been unable to acquire funding for the venture. Obviously we will continue to look for a sponsor for this event.

 

 

Sponsors and partners are vital to the institution as it operates under both financial and human resource constraints. A network of friends and experts helps us to produce outcomes beyond our capacity in most areas of our operations. It is also important to note however that not only do we cultivate partners but have worked at being a significant partner to institutions in our community. Our vision for the future is to be a centre of excellence of which our city, our province and our country can be proud.

 

 

The financial information has been presented in the report as per the National Treasury prescriptions. For the purpose of this hearing and for non-financial readers of the report we have calculated percentages on rounded off figures of expenditure against the budget. These percentages will hopefully reflect a clearer picture of expenditure on core functions balanced against that on admin and statutory expenditure. We have endeavoured to maintain a reasonable balance between the components of the budget.

 

Annual grant††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† R3 432 000

 

Staff costs†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††† 2 203 000†† 64.18%

 

Art Purchases†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† 407 000†† 11.86

 

Statutory Expenditure

Insurance††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††103 0003.00

Internal Audit†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††† ††††††††††††††10 000††††††† 0.30

External Audit††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† ††††††††††††44 0001.28

Council and Establishment S&T††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† 63 0001.84

Annual Report††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† 14 0000.40

 

Exhibitions††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††† †††††††††††††††† 33 000 0.96

 

WHAGFILM†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††† ††††† ††††††††††116 000†† 3.38

 

Special Community Projects†††††††††††††††††† ††††††† ††††††††††††††† ††75 000††††††††††† 2.19

 

Maintenance††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††† ††††††††††††††††† 168 000 4.90

 

Admin, goods and services and other operations†† 196 000 5.71

In conclusion I would like to voice my concern that the vision of the William Humphreys Art Gallery should be aligned or synchronised with the vision of the Department of Arts and Culture for the institution. In the past couple of years we have planned for growth and development and in achieving a good measure of success against the objectives in the Strategic Plan we are now bursting out of our premises. Our repeated requests for Capital Works Funding have gone unheeded. It is our belief that an institution that doesnít or cannot grow becomes stagnant and moribund and this cannot be acceptable to any of our stakeholders.

 

 

Thank you