The communities of Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West (the twin towns in the Western Cape known for their concentration of resident artists) recently took part in the #globallockdownartchallenge that calls on people to recreate a famous painting

The results were fantastic – with some of the best recreations seen to date. The locals really embraced the challenge and there was some healthy rivalry for top positions in the different categories.

The #lockdown art challenge, started by the Getty Museum, calls on people to recreate a famous artwork using household items – and has taken the world by storm.

Not to be outdone, the residents of the twin Western Cape towns of Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West have gone all out to produce some of the most original and humorous recreations to date

The call to take part in the challenge was made by local Riebeek Kasteel gallery owner Astrid McLeod who founded Gallery Riebeek Kasteel just off the town square eight years ago. “Inspired by the Getty Museum art challenge we invited locals to submit their own interpretation of a famous artwork with an emphasis on having fun and keeping up morale during these current difficult times.”

Taking part in this challenge is fitting for an area known as the “Arts Town” due to the fact that a colony of acclaimed artists, poets, writers and actors have made their homes here – a development which has seen arts tourism become a booming form of industry in this predominantly agricultural area.

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In fact, the valley plays host to one of the premier annual art events in the country, Solo Studios, which due to Covid-19 has unfortunately been cancelled this year but will resume its place in the events calendar in August 2021.

McLeod says she has been awed at the cleverness and innovation of the submissions received so far

“We offered a few prizes, donated by The Wine Kollective, for the best submissions in various categories and our community has really embraced this challenge and gone all out – producing some of the best recreations of old masters’ paintings. The camaraderie and sense of friendly competition has also been great to witness and the challenge has inspired so many of the locals to take part.”

We have seen impressive recreations of art works such as Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam”, Francis Berraud’s “His Masters Voice”, Rene Magritte’s “Son of Man”, Jean-Honore Fragonard’s “A Woman With a Dog”, and Van Gogh’s “Resting In The Hay” – to name only a very few.”

“Our valley’s renowned artists have also risen to the challenge with submissions such as Picasso’s “Homme Barbu Courgonne De Vigne” recreated by Andre van Vuuren. Li Nepgen put her creativity towards a fun recreation of Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus”, Gordon Williams features in his intricate recreation of “The Death of Marat” by Jacques-Louis Davids, and Emma Willemse poses as the lady in Roger van der Weyden’s “Portrait of a Lady”.” Competition judge Tamzin Miller Lovell says that there were great contenders in every category which made it really tough to choose the winners.

“I have enjoyed every minute of the art challenge. Anyone who would like to view the recreations submitted can visit The Gallery’s Facebook Page