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Rivalry to Revelry: 2020 Art Competitions in South Africa

Posted on 15 January 2020

The "juried process" of art competitions is a necessary career step for emerging artists who want to be considered as a serious artists. Every year, art competitions around South Africa offer artists the opportunity to build and develop their artistic resume as well as win handy cash and other prizes. Art.co.za takes a look at what art competition opportunities are available in 2020.

Phatshoane Henney New Breed Art Competition

2019 Winner, Neo Theku, Suicide mask

Established in 2016 by Bloemfontein law firm Phatshoane Henney Attorneys, the Free State visual arts competition aims to discover new and emerging Free State-based artists and showcasing contemporary art from the province.

Open to South African citizens or permanent residents in South Africa who are 18 years or older and reside in or be primarily resident in the Free State for at least six months during 2020. Entrants must be new or emerging artists (art students are not excluded) who have not held a solo exhibition at a commercial gallery involving more than 20 works.

For more information, visit www.phinc.co.za/art.

National Premier Craft Competition 2020

Artists are invited to enter works in a number of disciplines - ranging from ceramics to grass-weaving and glasswork to mixed media. Over the past three years, diverse works have been received, from those so colourful they fill the room with magic to monochromatic masterpieces that inspire awe. Whatever your palette, whatever your medium, this is your chance to share your artistry and technical expertise with the country.

Crafters have until 1 May 2020 to enter. For information, visit the Craft competition Facebook page.

Ernest Cole Award

Daylin Paul, Winner of Ernest Cole Award 2017

The Ernest Cole Photographic Award was initiated under the auspices of the University of Cape Town, and offers a unique opportunity for photographers to complete an existing project. The award, named after documentary photographer Ernest Cole, has been made possible by the generous support of the Peter Brown, Gavin Relly Educational and Kirsh Family Trusts, ORMS, and the John Liebenberg Hip Op Fund.

Visit www.ernestcoleaward.uct.ac.za for submission guidelines and information.

L'Atelier Art Competition

Marguerite Kirsten, Embodiment, 2018 Absa L'Atelier winner

L'Atelier is one of Africa's most prestigious art competitions. It rewards young visual artists aged 21 to 40 with the opportunity to develop their talents abroad. A look through the list of previous winners will testify to this.

Building on the platform created over the past two years, the competition is continuing to expand across Africa, opening in a number of countries, where Absa has a presence. Artists who are permanent residents of and residing in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, the Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia are invited to enter.

The L'Atelier art competition is run in conjunction with our partner, the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA).

Registration for the competition opens online (artists can submit a minimum of four and a maximum of five pieces of work). All adjudication is now done on the designated digital platform.

For more information, visit www.lateliercompetition.com.

Thami Mnyele Fine Art Awards Competition

Sizwe Khoza, 2019 Winner

The annual art competition, one of South Africa's oldest national fine art awards, is open to artists of all ages and categories include multimedia and new media, painting, art on paper and sculpture.

Prizes include various cash prizes for each category as well as a mentorship programme solo exhibition offered by Lizamore & Associates presented to the most deserving merit award winner.

For more information please contact the Visual Arts Curator at 011 999 4286 / 4474 / 8727 / 8726 or email: Thabo.Sekoaila@ekurhuleni.gov.za

The Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Art Award

2018 Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Art Award winners

This popular and unique national art competition awards presented by FynArts Hermanus and Bouchard Finlayson with the finalists' works will be exhibited in the Bouchard Finlayson wine cellar during the Hermanus FynArts festival (5 ? 16 June 2020) and for an extended period thereafter until 31 August 2020.

Entries must be submitted in a tondo (round) format with a maximum 60cms diameter, including mount or frame. A variety of media will be accepted including paper, canvas, board, perspex, fabric, embroidery, collage, mixed media, photography, digitally/mechanically produced and photo-based.

The deadline for entries is Friday 15 May 2020.

For more information, visit the Hermanus Fynarts website.

Vuleka Art Competition

Artwork by 2018 winner Tiaan van Deventer

Vuleka, from isiXhosa means OPEN

Open to artists who have permanent residency in South Africa, are 18 years or older and have not had a solo exhibition in the past three

For more information visit www.artb.co.za.

StateoftheART Gallery Award

2019 Winning artworks by Balekane Legoabe

StateoftheART is on a mission to uncover the next art superstar in South Africa and offering one talented up-and-coming artist a R20 000 cash award and solo exhibition.

The competition is open to entrants who are permanently resident in South Africa and aged 18 years or older on the 1 January 2019, and who have not yet held a solo exhibition with a commercial gallery. Local judges will choose finalists whose work will go on show in a group exhibition at the Stateoftheart Gallery Cape Town in September 2020 for a final round of judging.

Unlike other competitions, there is no participation fee, and entries will be assessed on a variety of criteria. The competition's aim is to find artists with a unique 'signature' within a South African context; to showcase artists whose work shows significant potential, who have interesting ideas, a relevant message and who demonstrate skillful execution.

All entrants are required to submit three works which define the theme On the Brink: Visualising Climate Chang. Online entry will close on 30 June 2020 and the finalists announced during the first week of August 2019.

View more information on the StateoftheART Gallery website.

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