The Frank Joubert Art Centre (FJAC) was established in 1943 by Captain Frank Joubert, a veteran of World War II and an Administrator of the Cape. Understanding the healing capacity of art, he invested money in the Centre as a place for war veterans and young children to be creative. Art as a matric subject was offered at the FJAC, under the auspices of the Cape Education Department from the 1960’s.
Initially housed at Rustenburg House, the FJAC moved to its present premises in Vredenhof in 1971. Vredenhof, which is now a National Monument, was designed by John Parker in 1907 for Christiaan Ludolf Marais and this beautiful building remained in the Marais family until 1953. After being the school building and then the hostel of Groote Schuur High School, Vredenhof remained vacant for two years and was subsequently vandalised. After major restoration by the Cape Education Department, this building became the new home of FJAC.
Since the establishment of Arts and Culture as one of the eight compulsory Learning Areas within the new national OBE Curriculum, the FJAC discovered that few teachers in disadvantaged schools were equipped to teach visual arts effectively as they had had little or no experience of art in their own education and training. The Ibhabhathane (which means Butterfly) Project was established as a pilot project of the FJAC in two disadvantaged primary schools in 1998 in an attempt to address this problem. Financially independent of the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), The Ibhabhathane Project has grown so successfully that in twelve years of its existence it has worked closely with learners and educators from many primary and high schools, in addition to training teachers from over one hundred schools across the Western Cape.
The Frank Joubert Art Centre and The Ibhabhathane project is proud to have worked with many important partners in the field of the Creative Arts, Education and Heritage. These include: Artscape, The Iziko South African National Gallery , The Iziko Museums of Cape Town, The Cape Town Holocaust Centre, The South African Parliament, The Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town (UCT), The Castle, The Two Oceans Aquarium, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, The Waterfront Cape Town, The Peninsula School Feeding Scheme, The Children’s Institute, UCT, Cape Town Child Welfare, The Nelson Mandela Museum in Umtata, The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan in Port Elizabeth, The Red Location Museum in Port Elizabeth and the Museum on the Seam in Jerusalem.