Groot Marico’s Art Factory
Did you know?
Groot Marico is 1 of the few places in South Africa where a manual telephone exchange still operates.
The Art Factory in Groot Marico is a well-known landmark in the small North West town. For it is here, in a sprawling old homestead on the main street, that members of the local community have been producing beautiful, culturally inspired arts and crafts for nearly 20 years.
The house is also home to the town’s information centre, a bookshop and a tea garden. Visitors are always given a warm welcome at the Art Factory, since their support of local artists helps to sustain the community as a whole.
The operation has been running efficiently for nearly 20 years, and is conducted purely on a voluntary basis, which is testament to the dedication of the crafters and the quality of their workmanship.
Born out of a need to train local women in needlework techniques, today the Art Factory proudly displays an array of items for sale, including paintings, sculptures, needlework, traditional Afrikaans ‘laslappiewerk’ (embroidery), traditional musical instruments such as drums, wrought-iron work, beadwork, leather work, jewellery, home-made jams, and locally brewed brandy known as ‘mampoer’.
The factory is packed full of items that make ideal mementoes to take home. (Remember to consult the factory manager, a local artist himself, who will be happy to advise you and share a little of his personal philosophy.)
Keeping true to the South African belief that ‘local is lekker’ (local is nice), only local artists and crafters from within the North West province are allowed to exhibit, with particular preference for those from Groot Marico itself.
Even if you’re just passing through Groot Marico, set aside a little time to explore this quaint town, which is famous for the Eye of Marico, a 17m-deep body of clean, pure water, and for a number of South African War (also known as the Anglo-Boer War) sites.