Monday, 25 August 2014

Honorary Life Membership of BAASA Awarded to Jean Powell

We are proud to announce that Jean Powell has been awarded Honorary Life Membership of BAASA for the role that she has played in tirelessly promoting this art form and her generosity of time in encouraging and helping students and botanical artists in KwaZulu Natal.

Jean Powell

Jean has been the inspirational backbone of BAASA KZN since it was established in the late 1990s and has tirelessly collated the workshops in this region for many years. Less well known to us is her involvement with other artist groups in KZN: she has been an active committee member of the KwaZulu-Natal Society of Artists (KZNSA), closely involved with the Friends of the Durban Art Gallery and other bodies, and has taught and helped countless young people to develop their skills and talents. Her love of plants can also be seen in her own original (non-botanical) artworks on paper and glass.
Jean Powell receiving her certificate from Elsa Pooley

After studying architecture and design in Britain, Jean worked in Kenya before coming to South Africa, where she taught at the University College for Indians on Salisbury Island, Durban. She went on to teach textile design at the University of Durban Westville, before moving to the then Natal Technical College. She is one of a group of dedicated artists who developed the talents of various communities in Natal under trying circumstances.

Jean with some of the KZN Artists

Jean has been an indefatigable proponent of botanical art and has never flagged in her support and efforts to find ways to display this art form to the public. She has taken a keen interest in botanical art since the late 1960s and 1970s when she was involved in NSA (Natal Society of Artists) botanical art exhibitions. She found ways to introduce botanical art to her students once BAASA was established and created a competition to encourage them to participate in the BAASA annual exhibitions. Many of her past students have become BAASA members and botanical artists, a tribute to her influence and teaching.

We are honoured to have Jean as a Life Member of BAASA.

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