Spier Arts Academy offers employment-based training in professional mosaic and ceramic as art media. This three year, full-time apprenticeship focuses on Mosaic or Ceramic Art, and includes tuition in Drawing, Mosaic Theory, Art History and Business Skills.
The Academy provides a vibrant learning environment that explores these art forms and develops the practical and technical expertise and creative spirit of all learners. The programme is designed to create a local industry with
sustainable and meaningful employment for skilled artisans.
The Academy is administered by Yellowwoods Art and specialises in collaborative and experimental work with fine artists, designers and architects in the conceptualising, manufacture and installation of large-scale artworks. Located in Cape Town’s East City Precinct, The Fringe, the Academy calls a three-storey heritage building named Union House, home.


Spier believes that the visual arts challenge us to take a fresh look at our world and environment. Art it is a powerful tool for transformation that is shared with guests and staff on the Spier estate, and art enthusiasts all over the world. Passionate about the arts, Spier displays work on the estate in Stellenbosch.
In the Conference Centre, Hotel and Manor House, the Wine Tasting Centre and on the Werf, art works are exhibited that have been acquired for the Spier Contemporary Collection through curation and programmes conceived by Yellowwoods Art.


Our Teaching Approach

The Academy teaching approach is applied. Working against production deadlines requires the studio to operate as a professional studio where apprentices gain valuable industry experience. Both mosaic and ceramic art depend on effective team collaboration, where apprentices learn a variety of approaches from masters in their fields and soon develop their own work methodologies. Apprentices are encouraged to work independently, with tutors playing the role of advocates and good soundboards. Developing craft into the realm of art, apprentices quickly begin to move away from creating functional, decorative pieces to well-resolved, open-ended artworks with layered meanings.


The programme is a full-time three-year commitment, where apprentices are in studio five days a week, Monday to Friday from 09h00 to 17h00. The timetable is comprised of lectures and practical learning. Participation in all aspects of the programme is compulsory. The academic year commences in January and is divided into quarters. The Academy holiday is at the end of the year.

Employment-based Training

We combine a structured theory component with relevant work practice. Apprentices learn professional art practices by working on real-world projects; learning to scale, quantify and systematically manufacture large mosaic or ceramic artworks over a period of time. All aspects are learnt under the guidance of experienced masters. In order to become qualified themselves, apprentices are assessed against industry standards.
Academy tuition is sponsored, with all apprentices receiving a monthly allowance and additional incentive based on work and study performance – enabling apprentices to cover their living expenses while furthering their skills.


Focusing on practical mosaic or ceramic, apprentices will spend the bulk of their day in studio gaining hands-on experience in interpreting designs into the respective mediums. Applied Theory will demonstrate various fabrication techniques and develop technical knowledge and mathematical skills. Apprentices will improve Drawing skills and be exposed to Colour Theory and Material Knowledge. In Art History, apprentices will gain a sound foundation in a global and local context. A fair amount of numeracy and computer skills are developed in Business Skills, focusing on what it takes to run a successful studio after graduation.


To apply for the mosaic or ceramics course, please click the link to download and complete the application form: Spier Arts Academy Application Form 2018
Return it, along with a copy of your ID document, to Spier Arts Academy – by email, post or hand delivered to Union House, 25 Commercial Street, Cape Town, 8001.
Successful applicants will be invited for an interview during September to mid October 2017 .
Entrance examinations are to take place during October to mid November 2017.
Offers are extended to successful candidates by 30 Nov 2017 .


t. +27 21 465 9029
e. academy@yellowwoodsart.co.za or info@yellowwoodsart.co.za