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A CUT Student Creates The First Sand-Cast Ceramic Art In Africa



A CUT Student Creates The First Sand-Cast Ceramic Art In Africa

A CUT Student Creates The First Sand-Cast Ceramic Art In Africa. In a groundbreaking display of artistic ingenuity, Sylvester Zanoxolo Mqeku, a Master’s student in Studio Art and Design at the Central University of Technology (CUT), is set to unveil Africa’s first sand-cast ceramic art. Mqeku’s remarkable creations will take center stage at his solo exhibition titled, ‘Birth of the Alter Natural,’ scheduled to grace the renowned StateoftheART Gallery in Cape Town from 3rd to 17th December 2024.

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Pioneering Artistry

Sylvester Zanoxolo Mqeku stands at the forefront of artistic innovation, heralding a new era in ceramic artistry on the African continent. Armed with a relentless passion for creative expression, Mqeku’s journey from architectural pursuits to artistic exploration epitomizes unwavering dedication and relentless pursuit of one’s true calling.

Unveiling Africa Artistic Gem

Mqeku’s journey into the realm of sand-cast ceramics is as inspiring as it is revolutionary. Delving deep into the annals of encyclopedic knowledge, he stumbled upon the intriguing technique of sandcasting and embarked on a quest to breathe life into this ancient art form.

His initial triumphs in the realm of bell casting served as a catalyst for his burgeoning fascination with sand-cast ceramics, propelling him towards the realization of his artistic vision.

Embracing Collaborative Learning

Mqeku’s artistic odyssey was not a solitary endeavor but a collaborative venture fueled by a thirst for knowledge and a spirit of inquiry. His encounter with Christopher Gryder, a pioneer in sandcasting from the Arizona desert, marked a pivotal moment in his artistic evolution.

Through a serendipitous exchange of ideas and insights, Mqeku gleaned invaluable wisdom, propelling him towards greater artistic heights.

Cultivating Artistic Community

Embedded within the vibrant artistic community of Bloemfontein, Mqeku found solace and inspiration amidst the hallowed halls of the National Museum and the Oliewenhuis Art Museum. Immersed in this rich tapestry of artistic expression, he honed his craft and nurtured his creative vision, laying the foundation for his transformative journey as an artist.

A Gateway to Innovation

Mqeku’s tenure at CUT served as a crucible for innovation, providing him with the fertile ground to sow the seeds of artistic revolution. Reflecting on his transformative experience, Mqeku acknowledges the pivotal role of institutions like CUT in nurturing artistic talent and fostering a culture of exploration and experimentation.


As Mqeku prepares to unveil his magnum opus at the ‘Birth of the Alter Natural’ exhibition, his fervor and anticipation are palpable. Through his awe-inspiring creations, he seeks to redefine the boundaries of artistic expression, offering a glimpse into the untapped potential of sand-cast ceramics in Africa.

With each meticulously crafted piece, Mqeku invites us to embark on a journey of discovery and wonder, igniting a newfound appreciation for the beauty that lies within the intersection of tradition and innovation.

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