Tribute: An experience- Solo Studios Intimate Art Encounters in in the Riebeek Valley, South Africa
Solo Studios Intimate Art Encounters is an annual event which takes place in the Riebeek Valley -one hour drive from Cape Town CBD. The area includes Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West. The event is focussed on art and artists and there is food, entertainment and pop-up happenings. Core to Solo Studios is that visitors have the opportunity to interact one on one with artists in their studios. How many artists reside in the Valley? Klaus Piprek who is the founder and organiser of Solo Studios, says that it is probably over a hundred but who is counting. The number is not important. Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West is a hub of creativity and is known as Arts Town Riebeek Valley, for good reason. It seems that everyone is involved in creating – art, food, wine, craft. There is a tremendous sense of community, with residents helping each other. For instance, the owner of the Royal Hotel, Robert Brendel made his hotel available for drinks at a preview of Solo Studios, in early August 2022. Klaus Piprek’s wife, Lizel Olkers was dispensing lanyards and G&Ts. The Royal is the oldest licensed hotel in the Western Cape and its bar is famous for its range of G&Ts and cocktails. When she is not assisting her husband with Solo Studios, Lizel Olkers, heads up Ancient Spirit– a lifestyle brand which includes clothing, jewellery, shoes and fabulous silk scarves. There is a store in Riebeek Kasteel.
Many of the residents in the Valley have come from “somewhere else”. I was fascinated to hear the stories of how people landed in the Valley with its magnificent vineyard and mountain views. They say that it takes a village to raise a child. With Solo Studios, it has taken a town (neighbouring towns – Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West) to make Solo Studios Intimate Art Encounter happen – and the other events and festivals in the Valley such as summer theatre festival in the Royal Arts Town Amphitheatre (RATA), on the grounds of the Royal Hotel. It has been fascinating to watch Solo Studios on Instagram and see the enormous amount of work that has gone into getting ready for the art weekend. If you are not able to get to Solo Studios Intimate Art Encounters 2022, put it on the diary for 2023. Bravo to Klaus Piprek, Lizel Olkers and all those involved in Solo Studios and for the satellite events. Follow Solo Studios on Instagram on http://solostudiosrk for updates or check out its website www.solostudios.co.za
❇ Featured image- pic: © TheCapeRobyn/Robyn Cohen.