Ävlan, a new organization on the block which offers premium office spaces for rental, launched its operations last week Saturday by holding an art exhibition which featured local artists’ various thematic works.
The exhibition, which was held at Independence Avenue Plot 205, saw local artists’ from Thato Khomela, Thato Makwate to Michelle O’s Art and Eric Pfund works adorn the novel Ävlan workspaces.
To reach out to the creative industry by offering encouragement during the Covid-19 tough times, Ävlan, held an exhibition in which local artists can showcase their works. With Botswana’s creative arts sector being one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, Ävlan office spaces have set up a platform in which local artists can exhibit their works.
The event, titled “Art at Ävlan”, allowed anyone to come and appreciate local artists’ works. Speaking with Thato Khomela, an artist and staff member at Ävlan, he said he is privileged to be at the forefront of the initiative and also taking part in it.
Before Ävlan’s opening, the organization elicited works from local artists in the form of paintings and sculptures. Khomela said: “Local artists were called to bring in their works and submit them for free so that they can exhibit them in our office spaces for free and also be able to benefit from the clientele Ävlan attracts at the same time.”
Part of what inspired incorporating art with the company’s launch was as a result of COvid-19. Khomela said, the initial plan was to make a fully-fledged ceremonial launch, but because of Covid-19, they instead settled for an art exhibition. For Ävlan, the exhibition was their first appearance in Botswana’s art scene. Khomela mentioned that the initiative has made a way for local artists to tap into Avlan’s market, at the same time adorning the office spaces and making them more valuable.
The organization which is focussed on creating furnished, staffed and resources offices that suit various needs, tried to breathe life into Botswana’s ailing art scene.
Present at the exhibition were keen art enthusiasts and appreciators, hemmed with various themed paintings depicting messages about hope amidst the pandemic. One notable painting, was by Eric Pfund, titled “Corona Kiss” in which two individuals kissed each other whilst wearing masks. The artwork also captioned “Hang in there,” according to the founder and CEO of Ävlan Ana Admiraçáo transmits hope during this age of the new normal.
Admiraçáo said they decided to fuse Ävlan’s opening with the art exhibition primarily because the arts industry was one of the industries that have been hard-hit by the pandemic. “I saw this as a time where artists shouldn’t have actually stayed back, they should have come to the forefront of the pandemic through their art,” she said.
“So, we thought okay, let us engage the artists together with the opening because through their paintings, they can give a message of hope, that even though we are going through all of this there is hope at the end of it,” the entrepreneur and singer said. Elaborating on the process in which artist’s works were chosen, Admiraçáo said, “the selection process was there because of the message we wanted to send, and that is a message of hope, so we wanted artists to bring one of their paintings that they have previously done.”
The Director and Co-founder of Ävlan, Niaz Johnson, concerning the art exhibition, said: “We opened our doors for Ävlan at the beginning of November of last year, and we had not yet done a grand opening,” he said.
Johnson said they couldn’t come up with a better way to commemorate the start of Ävlan than having a mutually enjoyable experience of inviting artists to exhibit their works.