About Us

The Bag Factory is a non-profit contemporary visual art organisation in Newtown, Johannesburg. We provide studio space to a cross-generational community of Johannesburg based artists. We also host a prestigious international artist residency programme, the David Koloane Award and Cassirer Welz Award, and regular exhibitions that showcase new work by emerging artists to the wider public. All our programmes are accompanied by a public programme that encourages greater understanding of contemporary visual art and stimulates interaction between artists and the local community. We are affiliated with the international Triangle Network.

With a pioneering 30-year history of providing a supportive infrastructure for artists, the Bag Factory is unique in combining art making with cultural debate and art exhibitions, thereby creating a fertile international environment for experimentation, innovation and cultural dialogue between creatives in South Africa and the rest of the world.

The Bag Factory’s crucial role for the arts in South Africa is confirmed by our long list of celebrated alumni who have gone on to develop international and prize-winning careers. They include our co-founder David Koloane, Sam Nhlengethwa, Kagiso Patrick Mautloa, Mmakgabo Helen Sebidi, Bongi Dhlomo-Mautloa, as well as Penny Siopis, Tracey Rose, Kendell Geers, Gabi Ngcobo, Lady Skollie, Blessing Ngobeni, and Bronwyn Katz.