As part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Johannesburg hosted the opening ceremony and will be the site of several key matches. The energetic city is also home to a burgeoning art scene that’s evolved leaps and bounds since the end of apartheid. At its axis is David Krut (pictured), founder of David Krut Publishing and Arts Resource, which essentially acts as a circuit board connecting the country’s artists, both emerging and established. For those traveling to Joburg this summer, Krut, who also owns a South Africa-centric gallery in New York City, shared a few of his favorite spots in and around the leafy Parkwood arts district where he’s based.
1. Krut admits, “My favorite place is David Krut Publishing and Arts Resource, our eccentric print shop–bookstore–gallery combo.” Opened in 2002, with a gallery space added in 2006, the place turns out prints by South African artists including William Kentridge, Deborah Bell, and Diane Victor. 140 Jan Smuts Ave., Parkwood; davidkrutpublishing.com
2. A cozy little breakfast and lunch spot, Park Café is a favorite with local gallerists. “Ian, the owner, believes he produces the best coffee in the land, and he could be right,” says Krut. It’s also likely that the café is South Africa’s only purveyor of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. The Parks Shopping Centre at the corner of Jan Smuts Avenue and Wells Street, Parkwood; 27/73-444-1700
3. For beautiful gifts—handmade jewelry, stationery, Assouline art books, and clothing by likes of Aussie label Metalicus—Krut recommends Abby & Ross, a small, posh boutique next door to the Park Café. Vicky, the owner, can often be seen running between the shop, the café (which she co-owns), and her nail salon, all in the same shopping center. The Parks Shopping Centre, Parkwood; abbyandrossboutique.blogspot.com
4. The 130-acre Johannesburg Zoo, built in 1904, houses more than 2,000 animals from 375 species, including rarities such as Siberian tigers and white lions. “It’s a great place in a city starved of open public spaces,” Krut says. Upper Park Drive (off Jan Smuts Avenue), Parkview; jhbzoo.org.za
5. Kim Sacks Gallery carries an array of African textiles, traditional pottery, and intricate beadwork, but ceramics—ranging from tribal to contemporary designs—are Sacks’s special focus. 153 Jan Smuts Ave., Parkwood; kimsacksgallery.blogspot.com
Also not to miss: Since opening in November, Circa (2 Jellicoe Ave., Rosebank; 27/11-788-4805) has hosted a major exhibit by top South African artists Karen Nel and Willem Boshoff and an avant-garde runway show by David Tlale. The ultramod annex has a gallery space for large installations (one involved real chunks of the moon) plus a rooftop lounge with stunning city views. Downtown, Arts on Main (intersection of Main and Berea streets, CBD; artsonmain.co.za) houses the studios of William Kentridge and photographer Mikhael Subotzky; the Seippel Gallery; Canteen Café; and Black Coffee, an internationally acclaimed South African fashion label.
From the Spring 2010 issue of Sherman's Travel magazine. For more trip-planning information, see our Johannesburg Travel Guide.