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Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Media and Communication graduate and E-Technologist in the Learning & Teaching Collab department at the University, Simon Venter, has been selected as one of four artists to take part in this year's Nando's Creative Exchange.

The culmination of event is a group show at the AVA (Association for Visual Arts) Gallery in Cape Town in November this year.

The Nando’s Creative Exchange (NCX) is the food chain’s flagship artist development programme which was started in 2011. The programme aims to recognise emerging, Southern African fine artists who demonstrate exceptional ability.

NCX is administered by the Spier Arts Trust who nominate promising artists from which four are chosen each year. The Arts Trust also selects a mentor to work with the artists over the course of the year, along with their curator, to provide guidance, support and curatorial input.

“Simon is a self-taught artist who enjoys land, seascapes and abstracts but tends to gear towards portraiture. Capturing a person’s story is something he finds invigorating and refreshing. His ambition is to create artwork that is true to himself.

He describes his artwork as ever evolving and is looking forward to the journey his art career is taking him on. His preferred medium is oil, but he also works in graphite, soft pastels, and charcoal. Inspired by people and the cultural landscape of South Africa, he wants the viewer to engage with his work and derive their own insights.

Although he was born in East London in the Eastern Cape in 1997, Venter grew up in Hilton (KwaZulu-Natal), moving to Gqeberha when he finished school. He has participated in several group exhibitions. Recent ones have included Captcha Colour with Artyli in 2021 and Process at ArtEC in 2019. Simon was also shortlisted as one of the finalists in the StateoftheART Gallery Award in 2019.

Recently, two of his portraits placed in the Top 100 of the 2021 Sanlam Portrait Award at the Rupert Museum, Stellenbosch. He also placed in the Top 45 of the annual Vuleka Art Competition in 2021. Currently, there are five of his artworks in the Nando’s collection.” (from the NCX website – read all four of the artists’ bios at:

Pictured below are four of Simon’s works.

Contact information
Mrs Beverley Erickson
Digital Communication Consultant
Tel: 0827720004