While producing award-winning wine, and offering a luxury experience, Spier's primary focus is to balance prosperity with environmental, social and cultural imperatives.
Since 1996 Spier has been active in a number of programmes that have greatly impacted on the visual in South Africa. With sustainability and social responsibility as core brand values, the Spier Art Collection is largely defined by the work of young, highly talented artists – emerging and internationally admired. The work is largely cross-disciplinary and incorporates performance, installation, drawing, sculpture, photography, video and film.
The Jeanetta Blignaut Art Consultancy curates the Spier Art Collection. A rotating selection of artworks are displayed in Spier’s restored Cape Dutch buildings, conferencing rooms and spaces of the Spier Hotel. Each venue is treated as an exhibition space. Visitors encounter works ranging from the painting of rising artists Xolani Moshani and Ricky Dyaloyi, to the photography of Pieter Hugo, and masterworks of Kagiso Pat Mautloa and Helen Sebidi.
Spier also hosts a formalised programme of solo and group exhibitions that pay tribute to works occupying pride of place in the collection. To mention only a few initiatives, a programme of survey exhibitions included the shows, Art & Violence (2009) that examined the close relationship between art and violence in a Southern African context, and Art & Architecture (2009) which explored how art is influenced and affected by architecture. In 2009 Spier agreed to finance and acquire a series of large drawings by Paul Emmanuel which form part of his exhibition TRANSITIONS. Approximately 2500 visitors saw the exhibition on show at Spier in 2009 to 2010, before it went on the be exhibited internationally. Thereafter Spier hosted an exhibition of selected works by Jane Alexander in celebration of having acquired the seminal sculpture Racework: in the event of an earthquake (1999). In 2011, Spier facilitated the production of an exhibition by Tamlin Blake. In this exhibition Blake presented a series of limited edition prints and tapestries woven from recycled, handspun newspaper. A new Spier publication 'Tamlin Blake' was also launched.
Grand-scale artworks such as Cianfanelli’s ‘The Dying Slave’ support Spier Architectural Arts’ ongoing goal to encourage widespread architectural-scale artworks and meaningful entrepreneurship in the arts. 'The Dying Slave' forms part of the permanent Spier Collection, and marks the first outdoor three-dimensional piece produced in the Spier Architectural Arts studio.