MODERN ART PROJECTS SOUTH AFRICA (MAPSA) is a registered non-profit organisation with the aim to promote and support contemporary art and develop a rich and diverse community of artists in South Africa. This is accomplished through conceptualising and organising exhibitions, publications and residencies. Since its inception in 2005, MAPSA’s activities have included the organisation of exhibitions in various venues in South Africa (Cullinan, Dullstroom, Graskop, Pretoria, and Richmond). In addition MAPSA has commissioned site-specific installations and published limited edition monographs. Artists’ residencies, workshops and retreats are regularly hosted in various properties in the small Karoo town of Richmond, South Africa. Selected activities of MAPSA are archived here.
MAPSA pro-actively engages with the challenges posited by the socio- economic conditions facing contemporary visual culture in a post- apartheid South Africa. It aims to contribute to positive change and the development of art and its discourses in South Africa, whilst remaining critically engaged with international contemporary art practices. MAPSA actively seeks out collaborations and partnerships with local, national and international organisations and institutions so as to broaden its reach and facilitate rich engagements.
MAPSA was founded by Harrie Siertsema and artist/ curator Abrie Fourie, as a means to provide creative opportunities to artists from all over the country, as well as the inhabitants of Richmond. The location and community of Richmond is at the heart of MAPSA’s work. To this end, a gallery and artist’s residency were established here in 2007 and has become the creative hub of many community-centred and cutting-edge art events, projects, workshops and exhibitions. MAPSA partners annually with the Richmond Book Festival and the Vryfees, Bloemfontein. For these and other cultural events, the organiation has invited artists, academics, university students and members of the community to collaborate on key projects such as the Bookbinding Project, the OpenLab (Explorations in site based practises), the Land Art Project and the Local Informal Clay Brick Making Collaboration.
Whilst activities in Richmond form the core of the organisations work, numerous projects are also rolled out in more urban cosmopolitan settings, such as Pretoria/Tshwane.