Established 2005

Fine Art Classes

Our classes
Established in 2005

Individually tailored

We work with each student to ensure that they develop the tools required to express their individual style and techniques.

Experienced teachers

Teachers with more than 60 years combined academic teaching experience, with a proven legacy of past students having achieved notable careers in art.

Supportive community

The Atelier is composed of an exceptional community of students who will welcome you into a supportive and nurturing creative environment.

Art history

A monthly illustrated Art History seminar is included in your fee.

The Stellenbosch Atelier offers individualized tuition, from beginners to experienced painters, under the expert guidance of Vivian van der Merwe and Fiona Metcalfe, both well established South African artists.

founded in 2005

Vivian van der Merwe

Vivian van der Merwe is widely recognised as one of South Africa's leading painters and has 40 years experience in Fine Art academia. In 2012 he left full-time lecturing at Stellenbosch University in order to dedicate himself to his painting career and the Stellenbosch Atelier. His work is represented in collections both nationally and internationally.

More about vivian

Fiona Jane Metcalfe

Fiona Metcalfe is one of South Africa's finest and most admired portrait painters. Fiona's work is represented in collections both nationally and internationally.

more about fiona

Student testimonials

“Art classes with Vivian and Fiona are one of the best educational experiences I have ever had. Their approach is more 'classical' which gives a solid foundation in drawing and painting. Their profound knowledge and love for art and art history is shared in a fun, approachable and non-threatening way.

Students feel inspired and and encouraged and are mentored. The days on which I have class are the highlight of my week”
Julia saker
"Having been a student of the Atelier for the past eleven years, I can confidently say that this environment has been my guide and inspiration, enabling my artistic growth over the years."
Ann Brandt
"I do my best when I am surrounded by people who embrace kindness and share their talents and knowledge freely. Vivian and Fiona have created a space for art making that is both supportive and transformative. The Stellenbosch Atelier is very special to me. They have taught me to seek the company of ‘beneficial failures’ in order to grow in skill and understanding of my creative process.  Their knowledge of art and art making is deep and wide, and it flows to their students like oxygen. The Atelier attracts a high calibre of student and I am grateful for the camaraderie which is a highlight of my week.  

Art making requires time, and the time spent at the Stellenbosch Atelier is a joyful, challenging, and gratifying endeavour."
Michelle wilson
"I came to the Stellenbosch Atelier for practical training in representational techniques, and found Vivian and Fiona's guidance crucial to my journey as a painter. They offered me structure where I needed it and enough flexibility to ensure their projects would target my areas of interest while stretching my limitations. I remain grateful for my time there, and for the deep appreciation of painting - both historical and contemporary - that they shared with me."
Oliver scarlin
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