N. Art Education in South Africa

CSU Meets Africa: Visual Pathways in Art and Education

Education in South Africa

This 6-week summer program focuses on the Arts of Africa and South African education through the study of artistic methods and techniques, cultural context, and global significance. The first week of the program meets on campus, and serves as an introduction to the visual arts of Africa, their function in contemporary South African society, as well as an introduction to South African schools. It includes a social and artistic history of South Africa, as well as a cultural primer on the South Sotho peoples. An orientation provides a platform for students to ask any questions, and for faculty to provide practical information for travel in South Africa.  Upon returning to CSU, the program includes a final week of debriefing, evaluation, and project presentations.

The following 4-weeks are spent in South Africa, and are divided into the following modules:

  • Studio Art Methods and techniques
    • In this module, students meet with South African visual artists to observe and participate in the various methods and techniques used to create culturally-specific South Sotho and Zulu bead work, mural arts, and IMG_1728.jpgperformance art.
    • Students are exposed to the function of the visual arts within their original context.
  • Art Education
    • This module focuses on developing culturally relevant didactic tools and art experiences for area students and teachers to engage with South Sotho art and history.
    • Exploratory studio art experiences are developed for local elementary, middle and high school students and teachers.
    • In addition, CSU students and faculty collaborate to implement teacher training sessions on newly developed South African arts-based curricula.
  • Art History and Museum Studies
    • This module includes a service learning project that engages with art historical approaches and methodologies, and topical discussion on the display of African objects within a museum setting.



Located on the southern tip of the African continent, the Republic of South Africa is a multi-ethnic society that encompasses a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. af_zaqwHome to a number of natural resources and minerals that made it highly coveted by imperial powers through the twentieth century, much of South Africa’s recent history has been harrowed by segregation and industrialization. However, the steps towards healing were initiated in 1994, when the first universal elections took place that resulted in the legal end of apartheid and the election of Nelson Mandela as the country’s first black president.

Throughout the duration of the program, students will spend their time in Harrismith and Qwa Qwa.  Harrismith is an important juncture point that leads to a number of popular destinations in South Africa. Qwa Qwa, a former Bantustan that reunited with South Africa after 1994, was the designated homeland of more than 180,000 Sesotho-speaking Basotho people during the time of apartheid.


6904281-1Housing and Meals

Accommodation and meals will be at Mount Everest Guest Farm. Located in Harrismith, Mount Everest Guest Farm is a lodge that provides necessities such as a hot shower, microwave, fridge, heater, and warm blankets. It is located outside of town, directly viewing the Drakensberg Mountains. Wildlife such as zebra and wildebeests often roam the vicinity.



Source article describing the 2015 program and video of South Sotho Arts

Blog created by students on the 2015 trip