Photo: Abri Kruger

August promises to be another highlight on the cultural calendar as the widely awaited “Solo Studios – Intimate Art Encounters” returns to the Riebeek Valley.

Over the weekend of August 18–20, seventeen artists’ studios will be open to the public, and seven of them have asked outside partners to co–exhibit in their private settings.

There will be seven more group shows held at different galleries and locations, including two private art collections in upscale hotels. Pass holders will gain insight into the creative processes and sources of inspiration by spending time in the private settings of the artists’ studios.

“We don’t merely sell art at Solo Studios. We sell an experience,” says Klaus Piprek, co-founder and director of Solo Studios. These encounters transcend the visual arts. There is a lot more to see and see in the region that is now referred to as Arts Town Riebeek Valley, which includes the twin cities of Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West. Be prepared to be drawn away from the artwork by fragrances emanating from coffee shops, essential oils created locally, or tantalizing wine tastings at some of the most renowned Swartland wine growers.

“As always, the Riebeek Valley will put on its best dress in anticipation of the influx of art aficionados to this prestigious event and visitors can expect a host of venues offering food experiences and wine tastings,” comments Shawn Hewitt, project manager for this year’s event. “Entertainers will flow onto the streets and pavements and creative community development projects will be showcased in plentiful fringe activities. Add to that the richness of local flavour from wine and olive producers, the abundance of restaurants, the village bakery and the profusion of craft and artisanal outlets.”

“The best way to fully appreciate what we have to offer is to make a whole weekend of it,” Klaus advises. “There’s simply not enough time in one day to fully absorb all that Solo Studios and the valley have to offer.” There was fierce competition to participate in the prestigious and record-breaking “Solo Studios – Intimate Art Encounters” event of 2022, which sold 183 works of art valued at R2.5 million. Out of the many deserving proposals, 17 local artists were chosen for the 2023 edition.

The Winelands Philharmonic Orchestra’s charity concert with the Riebeek Kasteel Steelband will be a highlight of the 2023 festival. Expect this collaboration to include original songs!

Less than an hour’s drive separates Cape Town and other cultural hotspots like Stellenbosch, Paarl, and Franschhoek from the picturesque Riebeek Valley. Because there is a shortage of lodging in the two small villages, visitors are strongly advised to make reservations for both tickets and lodging well in advance.

The passes range in price from R150 for a day admission to R395 for a premier weekend pass per person. Activities outside of the core may be charged extra.

For ticket sales and more information, visit Or contact Shawn on 082 528 6785.

Die Kunshuis

Local artists (with collaborators):

Tamlin Blake (with the Keiskamma Art Project)
Solly Smook
Riaan van Zyl
Brett Shuman (with Linda Waterkeyn)
André François van Vuuren
Emma Willemse
Ade Kipades (with Hennie Meyer)
Andries Dirks (with Arno Morland)
Gordon Williams (with Paul Kristafor)
Wiehan de Jager (with Clayton Sutherland)
Kevan Moses (with Shui-Lyn White and Amy Moses)
Lizette Visser (with Ros Koch)
Louis Nel
Misha Hillier
Antoinette von Saurma
Sharon Bischoff
Dieter Wust

Galleries and exhibitions:

RK Contemporary
QStudio in partnership with Impendulo NPO at the Riebeek Valley Museum
Pictorex Photographic Gallery
Gallery 7 on Plein
Spier Arts Trust
The Royal Gallery

Private art collections:

Die Kunshuis (owners Mike & Lorna Spittal)
1 Royal Street Guest House (owners Ashley Stone & Antonio Tomazi)