Mellow, Magical Opening

Gallery owner and artist Marina Jacobs.

Last night, as the sunset made way for darkness, a new art gallery opened in style in Melkbosstrand. Gallery owner and artist Marina Jacobs, who “just wants to paint pictures,” and who does not have a bone of conceitedness in her body, opened the doors of the Beach House Gallery @ MJ’s in Rio Road for a crowd of art lovers.

Despite it being a Friday night and people being tired, they came in their droves. People attend art openings for various reasons. Some really want to ogle art; some want to socialise; some want the snacks on offer.

On offer last night was a huge collection of art ranging from Marina’s signature blue hued West Coast landscapes to abstract works to art that is easy on the eye and pocket. There were also oodles of extras.

Mellow music from Gary Deacon.

Popular guitarist Gary Deacon drove all the way from Cape Town to come and play in the foyer of the gallery; while caterer Pieter Buitendag, from Vintage Ella Catering, whipped up an Asian stir fry in the kitchen for the guests. You get the picture. Good art, good people and good food.

‘This is the tricky bit’
Snippets of conversation overheard: “Wow, I love it,” “I would like that one,” “I like the turquoises and blues.” Also, “This is the tricky bit…” This came from the teddy bear-like caterer in the kitchen, as he deftly made the stir-fry and added ginger, coriander and soy sauce while fielding a nosy journalist’s questions.

The stir-fry that Pieter Buitendag whipped up on the spot was an unexpected largesse. The art lovers were already tucking into platters of delicious canapés featuring soft white and blue cheeses, glowing purple figs, plump grapes; to name but a few. “Soek jy ‘n wrappie?” one lady enquired of her husband. Of course he did. Of course everyone did, despite their diets!

For Marina the evening was not about making money. It was rather about opening her gallery officially and doing it in a way that was both stylish and informal; which also sums up her character. Her family and friends, old and new, were on hand. “Take a walk. Look around. You can walk through the house,” she invited guests. “Only don’t take photos inside the gallery,” her husband Fred quipped to the accompaniment of camera flashes and laughter.

Marina, a former science teacher, has always been wildly creative.  She says she always knew that what she wanted to do above all else was ‘simply to paint pictures.” She does so in a way that is instinctive and spontaneous; these qualities make the landscapes so special.

‘The sky!’
Marina’s signature works are her blue hued West Coast landscapes. She loves painting simple houses set in rustic settings. For this she uses a palette that often contains a range of muted blues. “Why blue?” I asked of her recently. “The sky!” she exclaimed on that day, pointing at the turquoise skies over Melkbosstrand.

But there is much more to Marina Jacobs than landscapes featuring blue tones. To find out for yourself, go and have a gander at the artworks on display at The Beach House Gallery @ MJ’s. Watch this space for upcoming events at the gallery.

The first thing Marina and Fred said this morning was, “Please thank the people for attending last night; and also the people of Melkbosstrand for their warmth and goodwill.”

The Beach House Gallery @ MJ’s can be contacted at



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