2019 / 156109 / 08
What does your company do?
The Koena Art institute is an art gallery centred around Khoena/KhoiSan heritage. We sell Art, Host cultural exchange, heritage and fine arts events where The larger South African society can learn about out heritage. However, we preserve heritage in a more contemporary fashion. The Koena Art Institute(NPC) is an organisation that celebrates
creativity, openness, tolerance, and generosity. Aiming to be
inclusive—both onsite and online—where diverse cultural, artistic,
social, and political positions are welcome. The first of its kind, an
Art Institute dedicated to the preservation of Khoi San Heritage Owned
and managed by Khoena Peoples. It is committed to sharing the most
thought-provoking modern and contemporary art, and hopes to take the
whole South African Nation and the world, in exploring the art, ideas,
and stories from an African tribe which has largely been unheard.
The Koena Art Institute, aside from selling art online, hosts a series
of temporary exhibitions, Culture exchange programs, Music and
Language preservation classes as well as capacity building programs,
which are the result of Indigenous knowledge systems and experiences,
history and contemporary topics, unique to its people. Providing an
in-depth look at art-related concepts through a lively approach based
on visual demonstration.
Koena Art Institute is an organisation with
an aim to celebrate and preserve Khoi San / Khoe heritage and
identity, representing artists of Khoena heritage from across South
Africa. Artworks and events reflect the narrative through the eyes of
the Khoena people. Hosting a beautiful balance of seasoned and
upcoming artists who present an exciting array of content central to
the modern and contemporary Khoi/San narrative.
What is your biggest success?
The current pandemic crushed our creative cultural industry but at the same time opened the doors for a shift in how businesses operate. The COVID19 pandemic introduced a new normal for creatives, consumers, and businesses.
Our biggest success is being able to open a space which was 100% self funded during covid. During covid we had the highest sales rate in the history of the organisation and we were able to grow regardsless of the challenges we faced.
What has been your biggest hurdle?
The biggest hurdle has been access to market. We sell an average of one artwork a week. But maximizing sales and getting to the right clients has been a challenge. Further to that I am a self taught entrepreneur. No financial or business background. So everything is trial and error with little guidance. Finding a mentor who is willing to assist has also been a challenge.