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World Art Day 2015 exhibition

Gran Cavallo 2015

15 April 2015 to 6 May 2015

The world will, for the 4th time this year, celebrate World Art Day on 15 April, an initiative of the International Association of Art (IAA).  In April 2011, at the 17th World General Assembly of the Association a proposal was unanimously accepted that a ‘World Art Day’ be declared on 15 April each year to propagate and promote the role which the visual arts play in die global community.  The reason for deciding on 15 April was highly evident.  That day marks the birthday of Leonardo da Vinci.  Leonardo’s stature as a painter, sculptor, writer, engineer, innovator, mathematician and philosopher still remains a guiding light in our contemporary world.

The then International President of the IAA, Mrs Rosa Maria Velasco (Mexico) at the occasion of the 2011 resolution, expressed the desire that the World Art Day be celebrated every year, and said:  “Art is the most genuine expression of the human soul, shaped in images, words, sounds and movements, reflecting the story of the human race.  World Art Day will allow artists and art lovers of the world to feel the power and preciousness of art simultaneously.  May all nations of the world breathe its importance.” 

For the 2015 World Art Day festivities the theme for the Association of Arts Pretoria’s exhibition is Gran Cavallo (also know as Leonardo's Horse). Invited artists were given the following brief from Wikipedia:  "Gran Cavallo is a sculpture that was commissioned of Leonardo da Vinci in 1482 by Duke of Milan Ludovico il Moro, but not completed. It was intended to be the largest equestrian statue in the world, a monument to the duke's father Francesco. Leonardo did extensive preparatory work for it, but produced only a clay model, which was destroyed by French soldiers when they invaded Milan in 1499, interrupting the project. About five centuries later, Leonardo's surviving design materials were used as the basis for sculptures intended to bring the project to fruition.

In 1977, Charles Dent, a United Airlines pilot, began work to complete the unfinished sculpture in Allentown, Pennsylvania. His efforts to set up an organization to finance the project proved a difficult task that required more than 15 years.  Charles Dent’s projected cost of the horse came to nearly US$2.5 million.   Dent died of Lou Gehrig's disease in 1994, leaving his private art collection to LDVHI (Leonardo da Vinci's Horse, Inc.), the sale of which brought more than $1 million to the fund.

In 1988, LDVHI enlisted sculptor/painter Garth Herrick to begin part-time work on the horse. By 1997, Tallix Art Foundry, in Beacon, New York, the company contracted by LDVHI to cast the horse, had suggested bringing Nina Akamu, an experienced animal sculptor, on board to improve upon the Dent-Herrick horse. After several months Nina Akamu determined that the original model could not be salvaged and concluded that a completely new sculpture needed to be executed.

Leonardo had made numerous small sketches of horses to help illustrate his notes about the complex procedures for molding and casting the sculpture. But his notes were far from systematic, and none of the sketches points to the final position of the horse, with no single definitive drawing of the statue. Akamu researched multiple information sources to gain insight into the original sculptor's intentions. She studied both Leonardo's notes and drawings of the horse and those of other projects he was working on. She reviewed his thoughts on anatomy, painting, sculpture and natural phenomena. Her research expanded to include the teachers who had influenced Leonardo. Akamu also studied Iberian horse breeds, such as the Andalusian, which were favored by the Sforza stables in the late 15th century.

Two full-size casts were made of Akamu's 24-foot (7.3 m) design. One was placed at the Hippodrome de San Siro in Milan. The other is at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, a botanical garden and sculpture park in Grand Rapids, Michigan, paid for by billionaire Frederik Meijer.

A smaller replica – 12 feet (3.7 m) – has been placed in downtown Allentown's Community Art Park adjacent to the Baum School of Art, in honor of Charles Dent. A bronze replica – 8 feet (2.4 m) – was installed 15 September 2001 at Piazza della Libertà in Vinci, Italy, the birth town of Leonardo".

Artists:  Deborah Bell, Hanneke Benade, Jaco Benade, Pieter Binsbergen, Wilma Cruise, Guy du Toit, Danie de Wet, Gordon Froud, Margaret Gradwell, Dylan Graham, Diek Grobler, Pauline Gutter, Carol Hayward Fell, Ruhan Janse van Vuuren, Carl Jeppe, Jeanne Kotze Louw, Dalene Marais, Dirk Meerkotter, Craig Muller, Andre Naude, Kay Potts, Alet Pretorius, Annette Pretorius, Lezanne Regev, Elizabeth Riding, Peter Sibanda, Nicolene Swanepoel, Sanna Swart, Angus Taylor, Lynette ten Krooden, Willem Truter, Rossouw van der Walt, Mienke van Zyl, Diane Victor, Kobus Walker, Marinus Wiechers, Liza Wilson, Judy Woodborne and Minnette Zaaiman.

Alet Pretorius
Nicolene Swanepoel
Alet Pretorius
Carl Jeppe
Carol Hayward-Fell 
Carol Hayward-Fell
Carol Hayward-Fell
Craig Muller
Danie de Wet
Deborah Bell
Dylan Graham
Hanneke Benade
Kobus Walker
Lynette ten Krooden
Margaret Gradwell
Minette Zaaiman
Wilma Cruise
Pieter Binsbergen
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