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Open Heart Studios Mfuleni: Paint and bead project.

Updated: Mar 17






Our latest collaboration at the art studio in Mfuleni Cape Town

Read all about our collaboration with artist Xolani Sivunda and his dream, now also ours, that is about to come through. Thanks to the support of Michele Knecht from the USA and her friends.

Our collaboration started before Covid and continued during this time as help was much needed in the townships in and around Cape Town.

Mosaic artist and painter Xolani Sivunda of Cape Town, South Africa and Michele Knecht of Atascadero, California, USA met through an international Mosaic group on Facebook. Their mutual passion for art, and desire to be of service in the world has led to the creation of Open HeART Studios, a Community Art Center in Mfuleni Cape Town, South Africa.


I got to know Xolani a couple of years earlier. we collaborated on a mosaic and beads project.


We are serving a community hit hard by poverty and the pandemic. Xolani is a multi talented artist working in acrylics, mosaic and beadwork. He is a community activist who had a dream of creating a space where art is a vehicle of empowerment, joy and hope.

Through art, he works to teach skills to enhance economic opportunity, keep youth out of drugs and street crime, showcase up and coming artists and cultivate creative energy in his community. Michele is a retired Personal Chef, now making mosaic art in her little garden studio. Her work is represented by several California galleries.

About the project:

Open HeART Studios is a community art center located in the township of Mfuleni, Cape Town, South Africa. We are a registered NPC dedicated to our mission, which is;


To preserve and promote traditional and contemporary art

To create a space that will educate and empower up and coming artists

To use art as a soul filling means to take youth and adults away from street crime and drugs.

To create a meeting center in the community for creative individuals

To mentor, showcase and promote local creative talent and to stimulate sustainable economic development through art sales by participants to visitors to our studio and the galleries our artists exhibit in

We also:

Collaborate with other artists and community based organizations

Provide art instruction to disadvantaged residents

Provide children's’ art programs

Provide pop up soup kitchen to feed the hungry

Our first group of around 5 artists will learn how to translate a painting ( paintings this time are mostly donated by me ) into a beadwork. The idea is to train the artists for 3 months, by then they have to make it into the world with their new learned skills and we move on to train another group of 5 people with another skill.

It is my job to come up with new creative ideas, Xolani is the teacher and provides the studio and Michele and Joy, the co founders are doing all the work behind the scene. Xolani's wife helps wherever she can.


If you would like to make a difference with us you can make a donation to Open Heart Studios.


The money goes to transport and food for the artists at work. We also pay a fee for the work done.

100 percent of your donation goes to support our projects and studio expenses.

A little goes a long way.


Once we have enough work finished, you can also purchase one of the artworks as all proceeds go back into the project.

A shop will be set up soon.

Thank you for your open heart

Your donation is tax deductible.

Donations here : https://gofund.me/2cb67c03

Read more here : https://www.openheartstudios.org/collaborations


Read also more on my website under Charity and see the artist at work and what they are creating.

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