Art Across Oceans is an international arts exchange between Kohl Children’s Museum of Greater Chicago and Play Africa’s emerging children’s museum in Johannesburg, South Africa. It aims to create a cultural exchange between the children of these two cities using art and play – two universal media.

Artists from Johannesburg and Chicago will co-create with children, a permanent artwork in each city home. Collaboratively, the artists will use traditional and contemporary South African techniques and materials to create artworks that reflect aspects of South African art and culture.

The Programme

14th-18th March: Art Across Oceans in Johannesburg
Artists from Chicago will join artists from Johannesburg and Cape Town to host workshops with children aged 2 to 10 years old consisting of animation studios, monoprinting and multimedia art production. The programme aims to draw children that are representative of Johannesburg’s broad social backgrounds to produce their concept of home and the city.

11th-15th April:
The programme and theme will be duplicated at Kohl Children’s Museum in Chicago with the South African team.

14th May:
Art Across Oceans will culminate in the live video exchange of the participants where they will interact and share the final, permanent artwork in each home city in May.

We look forward to a successful celebration of social cohesion, supporting the children’s concept of themselves as artists and the bridging of South Africa’s contemporary culture with that of the greater Chicago Area.

Meet the Team

Khehla Chepape Makgato “Chepape” was born in Kensington, Johannesburg and raised in Makotopong village in Limpopo. He is a talented and passionate artist and has exhibited his work locally and internationally, specialising in printmaking. His work is inspired by socio-political trends and the beauty of nature found in rural South African landscapes.

Chepape is an active member of the community and is involved in teaching art to the youth, mentoring young people to speak and listen effectively, and organising community book clubs in rural areas to foster reading and writing in children.

Ayesha Price is an amazing Cape Town based visual artist and educator. She works conceptually across a wide variety of media, employing visual art as a device through which to mediate social issues. Her intention is to create a greater sensitivity, sense of empowerment and social responsibility towards local and global issues through her work.

Tim Abel is a visual artist and art educator with six years of experience in arts-based programming for early childhood to adult age learners. He has been working with the Kohl Children’s Museum, as their Art Studio Coordinator/Education Specialist, to develop art programming in the Adventures in Art Studio space since September of 2014. As an educator he is driven by promoting art as an inclusive and collaborative making space. In his own studio practice he works primarily with and on paper to make sewn and collaged wall-works and temporary installations

Erika Gray is the Director of Education at Kohl Children’s Museum (KCM) located in Glenview, IL. As director she oversees the daily operations of the education department focusing on the creation and facilitation of all public programming, community outreach, professional development grants and workshops for children, caregivers and teachers. Erika has a B.S. in Art Education from Bowling Green State University and is a volunteer board member for Women of the Village: Childcare Provider Network, in Waukegan, IL. As an artist she enjoys creating pottery and photography.

Nokubekezela Mchunu “Beke” is Play Africa’s Art Across Oceans manager. She is a candidate architect who is passionate about research, particularly in the field of socio-spatial design in the South African context. She is an alumni of University of the Witwatersrand “Wits” and is currently working as an associate lecturer at Wits where she not only enjoys teaching but is able to expand her research interests. Previously, she worked as a business analyst after studying business management and looks forward to opportunities where she can combine both skill sets.

Stephanie Bynum is the Vice President of Programs at Kohl Children’s Museum. She has 25 years of experience in early childhood teaching, program administration and adult education, focusing on curriculum development, authentic assessment and teacher training. At Kohl Children’s Museum, Stephanie oversees the Education, Exhibits and Visitor Experience Departments. She is passionate about designing spaces and experiences that respect children as unique and active learners. Stephanie has a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and a M.S. in Child Development from Erikson Institute. She is also active in Destination Imagination, an international volunteer-led organization that engages teams of children in project-based learning challenges.

Kohl Children’s Museum of Greater Chicago, founded in 1985, is an award-winning children’s museum and leader in demonstrating the role of interactive complex play as a pathway of learning for young children.

Art Across Oceans is made possible by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.