Local artist wins Best in Show at national watercolour exhibition

Karin working on a Fynbos watercolour piece. Insert: Her ‘Baobab’ art piece which won Best in Show.

Local artist, Karin Obojkovits (was Dando) won Best in Show for her watercolour piece, ‘Baobab’ at the International Watercolour Society of South Africa (IWSSA) awards that were held in Sandton.

The IWSSA Second National Watermedia exhibition was held at Grayston Gallery and the competition was certainly fierce but Karin’s piece stood above and beyond to secure the ‘Best in Show’.

Karin completed her honours degree in Fine Arts at Wits University and from there went to Paris to work in a print making studio.

Her European journey continued to Salzburg in Austria where she explored the method of stone lithography. Whilst in Austria, at the age of 21, she was accepted into the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna for a course of Masterclass of painting.

To gain acceptance onto such a course is no mean feat. Professors indulging and specialising in different styles accept a maximum of 20 students each to learn and study under them in their chosen field. Obojkovits, who went by her maiden name of Dando at that time, was chosen to work under Professor Wolfgang Hollegha. Hollegha is considered the leading abstract painter in Austria.

A few years later, Karin and her now husband, Günter Obojkovits made the move back to South Africa and began their pottery decorating business.

Karin set about training and employing women to decorate the pottery work.

The enterprise soon shifted from pots to trophy animals, and the business really started gaining momentum.

Soon the team were commissioned to create colour mosaic Impala heads for the hallway of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Orders from all over the world then came flooding in, including from the Radisson Hotel group and The Venetian hotel in Macao, Hong Kong.

Later on, Karin became an art teacher at Stanford Lake College and the supposed short-term position turned into a nine year long journey with the college and only in 2016 did she leave the position.

Since leaving Stanford, Karin has been focusing on commissioned portraits and also designs the beautiful watercolour artwork for the Old Packhouse distillery’s craft gins and rums – a Dando family business.

  AUTHOR
Beth Coetzee
Journalist

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