The Artists' Gathering 2020

Thu Sep 17, 19:00 - Sat Sep 19, 20:30

See you online for the Artist Gathering 2020!

Our theme this year considers the “Weight of Hope”. At times hope feels as though it does not hold weight; like words which once held considerable weight, but then eventually held none.There is ambiguity in weightiness; holding weight suggests having authority as an aftermath of experience, but on the contrary, a heavy weight can be perceived as an unwanted burden. Hope is patient, people quietly wait out 2020, but there is an uncomfortable weight to it, sometimes passing through despair as the only route to growth. In the crucible of balancing the wait/weight is found the creative substance of Hope itself.

This year a selection of writers, artists and theologians will be casting a vision for how the arts impact our current Covid-19 society. Together we consider how artists of all disciplines can live out their vocation through a lens of Hope within the conceptual complexities presented by contemporary and postmodern art. The Artist Gathering provides ample room for sharing work and ideas, hopes and dreams, and mutual encouragement in faith-filled vocation.

Please note: this is a pay-as-you-can event. All ticket options give access to all of the sessions. Thank you for supporting our speakers and the work of


Thursday, 17 September

19:00- 20:30 SAST (EST 1pm) Wesley Vander Lugt - "Hope and the Gift of Art: From Sentimentality to Eucatastrophe"


Friday, 18 September

19:00 - 20:30 SAST (EST 1pm) Vesper Stamper: "Fear Kills, But It Does Not Have To Win: Writing About the Plague”


Saturday, 19 September


09:00 - 10:00 SAST Jess Williams - "Weight-ing in hope" (movement workshop)

10:00 - 11:00 SAST Dayna Gay Tate and Inge Semple - The Colour of Hope (Visual art practice workshop)

30 min break

11:30 - 12:30 SAST Puno Selesho -Navigating the lonely valley of the Artist's Way (Spoken word workshop)

12:30 - 13:30 SAST Marijke van Velden - "Communion in Mark-making: A Space for Sacred Play" (play workshop)

Hour and a half break

15:00 - 16:30 SAST (8am EST) Panel Discussion - "The hopeful Interplay of Christianity, Creativity and Citizenship in Our Current Context" (Fascilitated by Vera Marbach)

Two and a half hour break

19:00 - 20:30 SAST (EST 1pm) Wesley Vander Lugt - "Art and the Weighty Lightness of Hope"



  • Ntobeko Mjijwa (visual art)
  • Vesper Stamper (writer/illustrator/speaker)
  • Chris Mann (poet/speaker)
  • Vera Marbach (facilitator/ writer)
  • Puno Selesho (poet/speaker)


Wesley Vander Lugt

Wes Vander Lugt is Lead Pastor of Warehouse 242 in Charlotte and adjunct faculty at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He holds a PhD in Theology, Imagination, and the Arts from the University of St Andrew and is the author of several books and articles, including Living Theodrama: Reimagining Theological Ethics.

Vesper Stamper

Born in Germany and raised in New York City, Vesper Stamper has been an illustrator for over 20 years and now also writes and illustrates novels of historical fiction, including her upcoming novel, A Cloud of Outrageous Blue. Her debut illustrated YA novel, What the Night Sings, about the post-Holocaust period, was a National Book Award Nominee, a National Jewish Book Award Finalist, a Morris Award Finalist, Golden Kite Honor Book and Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner, and was named a Best YA Book of 2018/9 by YALSA, the Wall Street Journal and Kirkus. Vesper has a BFA in Illustration from Parsons and an MFA in Illustration as Visual Essay from School of Visual Arts. She lives with her husband, filmmaker Ben Stamper, and her two teenagers, in the Northeast.


Jess Williams

How do you experience hope? Does it remain something abstract, or can it somehow be felt concretely? I’m a Feldenkrais Method trainee, and I love dancing and expressing through movement. In this session, we’ll be curious and explore the dynamics of hope through our bodies. 

Puno Selesho

Puno Selesho is a Spoken Word artist and has performed on local and international platforms for almost 10 years. Her wealth lies in her words. She has launched a social innovation project called Harvest Books that will encourage children in rural Limpopo to build a reading habit. Puno wields words as a sword and wants nothing more than to uplift, inspire and breathe hope into the world with her message.

Marijke van Velden

Marijke van Velden has an insatiable love of drawing, in the widest sense. She approaches art-making both in an intuitive and conceptual manner. It is the therapeutic physicality embodied in the drawing process that she is most drawn by. Holding a Masters Degree in Illustration, Marijke works full-time in curriculum development for the Deaf, producing learning material for the subject South African Sign Language. 

Dayna-Gay Tate

Dayna-Gay Tate is a fine artist, teacher, graphic designer and photographer, with a heart for equipping ALL people in their God-given creativity. She uses art and watercolour workshops as tools to help people learn how to play, and break through fear, therefore finding deeper freedom and safety in the creative process. She studied Visual Communication Design at the Visual Arts Department of Stellenbosch University and graduated in 2017. Since then she has been fascinated by the power of creative collaboration between people as well as the intersection between various creative modes of expression.

Inge Semple

Inge Semple is a Cape Town artist whose work is deeply rooted to the Cape geography. She enjoys realism and impressionism in oil and watercolour. Her influences include her father, as well as Paul Emsley and Ellalou O’ Meara in 1982-85 at Stellenbosch University. A member of SASA, BAASA, IWSSA and Forty Stones Art Collective, Inge has taken part in many group exhibitions in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Grahamstown, and is working towards her 5th solo exhibition. Inge has won awards for her work, among others, Best Watercolour at 111 th SASA Annual Exhibition 2017, Honourable Mention for watercolour at 1st National IWSSA Exhibition, Cape Town 2018, Watercolour selected by international jury for 1st International Watermedia Festival Cape Town, 2019, Certificate of Commendation for mixed media at 113 th SASA Annual Exhibition 2019

Ntobeko Mjijwa

Ntobeko Mjijwa was born in Knysna hospital and grew up in Plettenberg Bay. He graduated with a Baccalaureus Technologiae in Fine Arts Degree, at Nelson Mandela University and a Certificate in Theology at George Whitefield Bible College in Cape Town, Muizenberg. Then he became an assistant lecturer, teaching South African art and Western African art at Nelson Mandela University. Mjijwa spent two years lecturing at the African Christian University in Zambia, Lusaka, also creating an art curriculum based on a biblical worldview with the help of Dr Voddie Baucham. He is currently involved in student ministry at Student YMCA at University of Cape Town and married to Siphokazi Mjijwa, an administrative clerk and IsiXhosa language teacher.

Chris Mann

Chris Mann was born in Port Elizabeth in 1948 and went to school in Cape Town and is married to artist Julia Skeen.He studied English and Philosophy at the University of the Witwatersrand, and went to Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar where he was awarded an MA in English Language and Literature. He also studied African Oral Literature at the School of Oriental and African Languages in London. In the 80's and 90's he was a lecturer, and later a professor of poetry at the English Department at Rhodes University in Makhanda, South Africa. From 1980 to 1995 he worked with an NGO;The Valley Trust. He is founder and convenor of Wordfest, a national multilingual festival of South African languages and literature. A native English speaker, Mann is also conversant in Afrikaans, isiZulu and isiXhosa. He performs his work at festivals, schools, churches, universities and conferences in South Africa. As he examines his own spirituality, which appears rooted in the history, place and potential that is contemporary South Africa, his practical musicianship emerges clearly in the lilting lyricism and rhythm of his poetry.

Vera Marbach

As an Integration Coach, Vera facilitates group processes under the banner of Diversity Dialogue SA at ThinkThru-TalkThru. Vera writes poetry to process her thoughts and challenges. She published a collection of her poems based on the dialogues she experienced, called Dwelling in Dissonance, in 2017.  Vera and her husband, Thorsten, head up the ministry of L’Abri International in South Africa.

Additional information

Refund policy No refunds


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