Montebello Design Centre is a hidden gem found in the heart of Cape Town. This center is a true haven for those that love nature as well as authentic things. Montebello Design Centre boasts a restaurant, an organic farm, an artisan studio (which is a huge attraction), a food market, a nursery, and a traditional arts and crafts shop.
The design studios are scattered around Cape Town, and one of the reasons for this is to make them accessible to tourists as well as art lovers. The other reason is that they can cater to a lot more artists this way as the artists will not be limited by location. This design center came about as a result of Cecil Michaelis’s aid. He was well known for his art skills that incorporated ceramics and glass, and he hoped that his love for this trade could be passed on to other eager artists as well as to build upon their entrepreneur skills.
Montebello Design Centre partners with the University of Cape Town to nurture young and ambitious artists. They work with a wide range of material from ceramic, glass, clay, and canvas paintings. John Bauer, who is renowned in the ceramic circles for his experimental work that pushes the boundary, often holds classes there. These classes are open to people who have pottery and ceramic skills, as well as beginners. Ceramic classes are also held twice a week with Monday being reserved for Grade 6 and 7 and Tuesday for the earlier Grades.
These extramural activities offered to children are a great way to introduce them to art and build and mold their talent at a very tender age. This project also gives the children hope and something to look forward to. Hopefully, with children being empowered so early in their lives, the next generation will not be afflicted by crime and other social vices that seek to destroy the future of youth. They are also taught that the future literally is in their hands, and they can shape it any way they desire.
Exhibitions and Gift Shops
Being a not for profit organization, Montebello Design Centre seeks to create equal opportunities for all aspiring artisan artists by providing them with a great platform to work as well as to showcase their work. Most artists do not yet have either the big name or the funds required to host an exhibition at a regular for-profit gallery.