The Ardmore Ceramic Art Studio in Kwazulu Natal is the most famous and largest ceramic studio in South Africa. Over 80 Zulu men and women sculpt and paint African shapes and forms, combining Zulu folklore and legends with rich colors and elaborate designs. Ardmore works are found in most South African art museums and many prestigious international galleries. The Ardmore studio provides a community infrastructure and financial support for artists and their families.
In February 2008 First Lady Zanele Mbeki hosted an exhibition of Ardmore Ceramics at the President’s official residence in Cape Town. Mrs. Mbeki described Ardmore as a positive force in the transformation of South Africa in recent years:
“The remarkable story of the artists and their mentors and promoters represents the best of partnerships working towards transformation in our country. Their interaction has brought out the most admirable qualities of both character and art, while also heralding the arrival of local artists on the international arts agenda.
It is very pleasing that these exceptional talents, which would otherwise have withered unseen in the wilderness, have since emerged to become significant contributors to contemporary South African culture.”
Students selected for this internship provide their own airfare from Cape Town to Durban and low cost accommodation and meals near Ardmore. Inexpensive flights are available for as little as $50 each way. AIFS will contribute $200 towards each student’s costs and will arrange airport transfers in Durban. The internships are not paid but students will receive a certificate of recognition from the International Office of Stellenbosch University as well as from the Ardmore studio.
One or more qualified AIFS students each semester may be selected for the 3-week internship at the end of the Stellenbosch semester. This is a unique opportunity for students interested in, or with experience in: art, photography, marketing or community service.
“During my stay at Ardmore Ceramic Studio, I was able to experience a whole new side of South Africa. I worked with the artists, and helped the person in charge of sales with her English in emails. After getting to know a few of the artists and the work they created, I also made a brief documentary on HIV/AIDS and how it has affected the Ardmore community, which will hopefully be used to educate visitors to the studio. It was a wonderful opportunity to see a diverse South African business and community function on many different levels -and a beautiful place!”
-Kaitlin Kitchen, AIFS South Africa 2010 and Ardmore Intern