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The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.
— Aristotle

All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex and vital.

—Oscar Wilde

The Department of UP Arts

UP Arts is responsible for managing all art resources of the University of Pretoria, which include museums, a conservation facility, music ensembles, halls and theatres, the costume wardrobe, the décor workshop, and the vast art and heritage collections.



UP Arts strives to excel in the management of the broad range of the art and heritage resources of the University of Pretoria and in effectively marshalling them to support the academic and socio-cultural thrusts of the University vision.



  • In close liaison with the Departments of Drama, Music and Visual Arts, to provide logistical support to instruction/training programmes, based on departmental requirements and specifications.
  • To curate the museums' collections to international standards and increasingly promote the integration of the collections into academic programmes, offer collection-based lectures; conduct collections-based research and publications.
  • To keep and manage a number of music ensembles based on a creed of excellence, optimise their value as training opportunities and talent development spaces, as well as strategic and ceremonial image enhancers.
  • To efficiently manage halls, theatres, and other applicable venues to promote their use as training, recreational and conference facilities, to position them as venues of choice and develop their capacity to earn revenue for the University
  • To engage the community by giving support to community groups and artists, hosting community events, performances, exhibitions and other cultural initiatives, as well as take events to the community.
  • To promote arts and culture and encourage popular participation through audience development, excellent marketing and effective client services, ensuring diversity and quality in the services offered to achieve client satisfaction, client retention and progressive growth in the client base.
  • To continually seek new opportunities for the development of the arts, support intra- and interdepartmental collaboration, encourage new and ground-breaking projects, form partnerships with local and international players in arts and culture.
  • To promote awareness, both internally and externally, of the exceptional art and heritage collections of the University of Pretoria, and seek commensurate mileage for the University through lectures, exhibitions, tours, publications, productions and marketing.
  • To provide refreshing entertainment to punctuate the burden of University life, grace and embellish University events and ceremonies with appropriate performances.
  • To build an appropriate institutional tone by communing with audiences on an aesthetic and cultural plane through a vibrant, diverse and exciting programme of activities that ultimately foster a wholesome ethos which promotes holistic development, the optimal consummation of human potential, the edification of the mind, and a profound satiation of the human spirit through an appreciation of the arts.
Please access the link below to read about the Head of Department's (Prof. Theo van Wyk) trip to Westminister Abbey:


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