Every artist should have an Aunt Riva, the diminutive, fairy-godmother of the Cape Town, art world.
For more then 30 years, Riva has cajouled, protected and encouraged her stable of emerging and established artists. Oftentimes seeing to their financial needs at the expense of her own, Riva is the quintessential gallerist. Her motivation is a deep love for her artists, and the work that they create.
Riva recognises Art's ability to heal, comfort and inspire. A house only becomes fully a home, once made unique and expressive through the art that completes it.
For decades Riva quietly set about enriching the lives of her artists and clients from the second floor of a Victorian building in Church Street.
Times have changed, and when most octagenerians were settling down to a quiet retirement, Riva was moving on to larger premises in Wales Street. Even without the allure of the rickety staircase which once took you to the door of her old store, charm abounds. And Riva still welcomes you with a smile and the tilt of her head, always ready to listen. Carefully. To what you have to say.
For above all else, Riva loves people and delights in sharing with them the joys and sorrows of this artful life.
Monday to Saturday you'll find her at the Atlantic Art Gallery in Wales street, ready to hear your stories and beautify your life.