The Bag Factory is known as one of the leading visual arts facilities in Johannesburg. Since its’ inception in 1991, the non-profit organisation functions as a residency where artists share the space and ideas and thrives on developing a programme that believes in diversity and stands for inclusion that is accessible for all. At the time, the space provided studios for predominantly Black artists who had little to no access to platforms and resources that could further mould their careers

Situated on the edge of the city in Fordsburg between the Newtown Cultural Precinct and the Oriental Plaza, it is extremely accessible to the surrounding areas including Soweto. The Bag Factory consists of 16 studios, workshop spaces and a gallery in an urban context location which has greatly influenced the work of the artists who have created there.

Co-Founded by artist, curator and teacher David Koloane and British art collector and philanthropist Robert Loder, who saw a need for a space where artists could not only be nurtured, but share in the diversity of cultures and create works in a freely accessible environment. Artists such as William Kentridge, Penny Siopis, Ricky Burnett, Deborah Bell and Pat Mautloa are some of the successful local alumni artists of the residency programme at The Bag Factory.

The organisation has expanded over two and a half decades and developed as a facilitator and educator and is continues to connect artists to the local and international art world. It has become a hub for cultural exchange and plays an important role in cultivating and promoting South African artists.