UJ announces appointment of new Curator

Thabo Seshoka is set to take over as Curator of the UJ Art Gallery in January 2022.

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) bids farewell to UJ Art Gallery Curator of 24 years, Annali Cabano-Dempsey, as her retirement commences. Taking the baton from her is the energetic, bold and innovative Thabo Seshoka.

“Thabo’s unique skill set makes him a perfect fit for an environment where collaboration and innovation are drivers of change and we look forward to reimagining the future with him,” says Head of UJ Arts & Culture, Pieter Jacobs.

Curator and Arts Administrator, Seshoka is currently serving as the Head of Heritage and Research at Robben Island Museum. He holds a Bachelor of Social Science, and Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) degree from Rhodes University. He further holds a Master of Arts degree from Nelson Mandela University, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Practice from Henley Business School, Africa. Seshoka is currently reading towards a Master of Business Administration degree with Regent Business School.

“I’m deeply honoured to be entrusted with leading the UJ Art Gallery into the future. I assume this role at a critical time. The ongoing global pandemic has exposed and tested the under-belly, and vulnerability of the creative sector. The next few years are going to be critical in rebuilding, and most importantly, transforming the structural flaws that exist within our sector. There is much to be done, and I am looking forward to working with Pieter Jacobs, UJ Arts & Culture, and colleagues within the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, and the broader creative sectors,” said Seshoka of his appointment.

In his current role, Seshoka oversees Robben Island Museum’s Exhibitions and Development, Research and Natural Environment units, as well as the institution’s Creative Team and Mayibuye Archives. In 2021, he served as the acting Chief Heritage Officer, overseeing the work of the Information and Communication Technology, Public Heritage and Education and Heritage and Research Departments at Robben Island Museum and World Heritage site.

Thabo Seshoka previously served as the Specialist: Art Curator for Absa Group Limited where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Absa Gallery while curating one of the largest corporate art collections globally. Over the past two years, Seshoka has further served as a guest lecturer on the Postgraduate Diploma in Heritage Management at Rhodes University.

“Building on the work of the legendary Annali Cabano-Dempsey is going to be a tough act to follow, however, I believe that I am up to the task. I would like to thank Annali for her commitment and dedication to the UJ Art Gallery over the past two decades and wish her the best in her retirement. I promise to be honest, critical and ethical in my curation of the gallery, and care for the collection with the same passion and devotion as she has,” concluded Seshoka.

For more information visit https://arts.uj.ac.za/ and https://movingcube.uj.ac.za/ or follow UJ Art Gallery on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/UJArtGallery.

About UJ Arts & Culture

UJ Arts & Culture, a division of the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture (FADA) produces and presents world-class student and professional arts programmes aligned to the UJ vision of an international university of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future. A robust range of arts platforms are offered on all four UJ campuses for students, staff, alumni and the general public to experience and engage with emerging and established Pan-African and international artists drawn from the full spectrum of the arts.

In addition to UJ Arts & Culture, FADA (www.uj.ac.za/fada) offers programmes in eight creative disciplines, in Art, Design and Architecture, as well as playing home to the NRF SARChI Chair in South African Art & Visual Culture, and the Visual Identities in Art & Design Research Centre. The Faculty has a strong focus on sustainability and relevance, and engages actively with the dynamism, creativity and diversity of Johannesburg in imagining new approaches to art and design education.