#Gauteng52, Week 34: The Pink Church With a Blue Door

by | Aug 25, 2017 | #Gauteng52, Arts and Culture, Johannesburg, Melville and Surrounds | 6 comments

Welcome to Week 34 of my #Gauteng52 challenge, for which I visit and blog about a new place in Gauteng Province every week for 52 straight weeks. This week I visit the Blue Door Print Studio, inside Melville’s mysterious Pink Church.

On the southeastern edge of Melville — technically it’s in Richmond but I consider it Melville — is a mysterious Pink Church with white trim. For a long time it was abandoned, then it briefly became an antique shop although the shop rarely looked open. Some people say the Pink Church is haunted.

I’ve driven past the Pink Church about 500 times and was always curious. I never went in.

The pink house from the sideThe Pink Church at 24 Chatou Road, Richmond. (But really it’s Melville.)

Last month I saw an article in the Northcliff Melville Times titled “Building Transformed into Print Haven”. The article said the Pink Church has become the Blue Door Print Studio. I learned that the building was built in 1904, and it was indeed a Methodist church back in the day. Later on it was a synagogue, which somehow makes the Pink Church even more fascinating.

Two days later, I finally went to the Pink Church.

Pink house in MelvilleThe front of the Pink Church.

The Pink Church and the Blue Door

The Pink Church is indeed a print studio, run by master printer Collin Cole. Collin has kept the outside of the church pink but painted the inside red. The interior, which looks even more church-like than the outside, is one of the most beautiful, eclectic art spaces in Joburg. And that’s really saying something.

Inside the Blue Door StudioInside the Blue Door Print Studio.

The name “Blue Door Print Studio” comes from Collin’s former studio in Parktown North. That studio had a Blue Door, and Collin brought the door with him to the church. The Blue Door now stands in the garden.

The Blue DoorThe Blue Door in the garden of the Pink Church.

Marie-Lais and I went to the Blue Door Print Studio on a weekday morning and met Collin and his terrier, Max.  I was enchanted by the studio, I was enchanted by Collin, and most of all I was enchanted by Max.

Max at the Blue Door Print StudioMax.

Collin Cole and MaxCollin and Max.

In addition to being an accomplished artist, Collin has been teaching printmaking in South Africa for decades. He is offering various printmaking courses at the studio and will also be holding exhibitions in the gallery.

Blue Door Print Studio GalleryThe downstairs gallery area.

Collin Cole art
I love this art installation featuring Collin’s old army jacket.

Collin’s current Foundation Printmaking course is running from 19 August to 7 October, but keep an eye on the Blue Door website for announcements about future courses. You can also contact Collin on the Blue Door Facebook page to arrange a time to visit the Pink Church with a Blue Door. (That’s what I did.)

Max in the studioOne more shot of little Max.

The Blue Door Print Studio is 24 Chatou Road, Richmond. Call +27-82-924-6673 or email info@bluedoorprintstudio.co.za.

Read all of my #Gauteng52 posts and check out the interactive #Gauteng52 map.


  1. Brenda Reiss

    Wire haired fox terrier! Sigh. Love ’em. You never see them any more here in the US. But I do know why…..they explode with energy! Fun, lovely dogs but not easy.

    • 2summers

      Yes, he does seem extremely energetic. But so sweet!

  2. autumnashbough

    Max is adorable. Bet he’s hell on rodents, too.

    I’ve never seen an army jacket with a Marlboro pin!

    • 2summers

      Haha, yeah. I think that’s the point of the art piece – he’s put all kinds of random stuff on the jacket.

      • autumnashbough

        He’s mocking North Korean generals, right?

        • 2summers

          Apartheid generals, I think.


Leave a Reply