Cecil Skotnes Representing South Africa
Cecil Skotnes (1926 - 2009) Cecil Skotnes originally studied drawing in Florence, Italy. In 1952 he was appointed cultural officer in charge of the Polly Street Art Centre; the institution virtually synonymous with Skotnes; and which was particularly influential in the development of an urban black art.
He has produced murals, designs for tapestries, oil paintings on canvas, and drawings in a variety of media. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Medal of Honour of the South African Akademie.
His lifelong mission was to nurture talent and encourage creativity, particularly in places where the apartheid government had deliberately excluded this possibility. His career was a rich and rewarding one from which many benefited – his family, his students, young artists, his friends and those who have bought and bartered his work. His contribution has been recognized by all those who loved him and his art, by universities who conferred honorary degrees on him and by the State President with the award of a gold medal for service to the country and, in particular, for his contribution to the de-racialision of South African art.