Willem Boshoff Academic Profile | Art.co.za | Art in South Africa
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Academic Profile

Devotes most of his time to research in preparation for artworks and talks. The activity includes the drawing up of botanical checklists at major botanical gardens of the world, and the writing of dictionaries.



  • Johannesburg College of Art (Now Technikon Witwatersrand), National Art Teacher's Diploma
  • 1980 Technikon Witwatersrand, National Higher Diploma in Fine Art (Printmaking)
  • 1984 Technikon Witwatersrand, Masters Diploma in Technology in Fine Art (Sculpture).
  • Study visits to Austria, Germany - 1982, and again in 1993, to England, Wales and Scotland.
  • 2008 Honorary Doctorate, University of Johannesburg

    Teaching career

    In a teaching career spanning 23 years he taught various art related subjects to students on all levels of development:

  • 1973-76 Part-time teacher, Jeppe Boys' High School, and Johannesburg College for Advanced Technical Education - Languages and Fine Art
  • 1975-77 Taught at Parktown Boys High School - Afrikaans, Religious Instruction and Fine Art
  • 1977-96 Technikon Witwatersrand (1980-82 senior lecturer, 1983-91 Associate Director and Head of Department, 1991-1996 Associate Director)
  • 1996 Becomes independent full-time artist.

    Guest Lecturer/Speaker

    Regularly presents slide shows on own work at numerous institutions in South Africa and abroad. Frequent guest speaker at exhibition openings


  • Lecture tour
    United States of America (University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
    University of Southern Illinois at Carbondale
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
    University of Chicago


  • Performance/lecture on concrete and visual poetry, especially as contained in the anthology KYKAFRIKAANS, held at the White Box Gallery, New York.
  • Judge of art competitions/advisor to art institutions.
  • Since the mid 80's a judge on the Vita Art Now panels that select the most promising artists in the Johannesburg region.
  • Frequent judge on ABSA Atelier, New Signatures and Rembrandt Triennale competitions
  • currently art advisor to the Sanlam Collection.
  • Trustee and advisor to the Ampersand Foundation, an organisation that awards fellowships to artists for cultural enrichment in New York.

    Since 1981 Performances of KYKAFRIKAANS and lectures on language, concrete and visual poetry, especially at the White Box Gallery, New York in 2000 and at the International Language Congress 2003; 2005 guest lecturer for the Smithsonian Institution at Washington universities and schools

    Dictionaries and botanical research

  • 1977 Writes Dictionary of Colour. Other dictionaries include: Dictionary of Manias and Phobias, Dictionary of Morphology, Dictionary of -ologies and -isms and Dictionary of Beasts and Demons, Dictionary of Winds, Dictionary of Obscure Financial Terms;
  • 1982-1985 Secretary of the Dendrological Society, Southern Transvaal, leads many groups in ecological excursions;
  • 1999 Complete a dictionary of perplexing English after more than ten years, with research done from 200 dictionaries including the 25 volumes of the Oxford English dictionary;
  • 2000 Beyond the Epiglottis, an extraordinary dictionary of rhetoric and communication.
  • 2007 What Every Druid Should Know (in progress)


    External examiner for a number of tertiary institutions in South Africa; examiner for many post graduate students; 1995-2009 External examiner for students in their third and fourth year as well as Masters students at the fine art departments of various universities and colleges including Michaelis School of Art of the University of Cape Town; Johannesburg College of Education; Pretoria University, Rhodes University in Grahamstown; Natal Institute of Technology, Pretoria Technikon; Durban Institute of Technology; University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg; Johannesburg University; Stellenbosch University; University of the Free State.

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