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SA artist to receive award at Harvard University

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Internationally renowned South African artist Nelson Makamo will represent the continent at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University in Boston as a visiting scholar.

He will also receive the Vanguard Award from the Harvard African Students’ Association.  Makamo has over the years succeeded in making a name for himself across the world.

Makamo’s artwork recently made it to the cover of the weekly US magazine, Time. He has held exhibitions in Paris, Edinburgh, and the Netherlands.

Makamo’s artwork has made it into the collection of the likes of fashion icon Georgio Armani, singer Annie Lennox and film director Ava Duvenay.

The Harvard African Students’ Association’s president, Mfundo Radebe said this year’s theme for the African community at Harvard was “celebrating progress”.

“Makamo’s focus on the brilliance of the African child and his vibrant and bold artwork represents that very progress,” said Radebe.  “He will deliver a lecture at the Harvard Art Museums, a talk with the Center for African Studies, as well as be a discussant during the Radcliffe Institute’s Beauties exhibition by US artist Willie Cole.

“In addition, Makamo will engage in student and faculty lunches,” he added.

Makamo’s unique style draws from the “candid innocence of children”, particularly rural South African children. He has exhibited his art in Italy, Scotland and the Netherlands, and is currently based in Johannesburg.

Radebe said Harvard aimed to provide a global platform to current leaders and visionary thinkers, as well as future leaders who champion progress above anything else.

“We’re excited for Makamo to visit Harvard and share with students and faculty his progressive vision for the African art space,” he added.

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