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Apply now for the Absa L’Atelier art competition that rewards young visual artists, aged 21 to 40, with the opportunity to develop their talents abroad
The Absa L’Atelier art competition rewards young visual artists, aged 21 to 40, with the opportunity to develop their talents abroad. This is clearly evidenced by the previous winners and the benefits and experience they attained by participating.
There are 12 countries that form part of the 2019 Absa L’Atelier. The 12 countries are randomly divided into three groups of four countries each. Artists within each group compete against each other. There is no competition between the three groups – artists compete within each group only. The winner of each group will be referred to as the Absa L’Atelier Ambassador.
The artist is required to submit one entry which consists of a portfolio of a minimum four and a maximum of five artworks. Submission of less than four and more than five artworks will result in the artist’s immediate disqualification. Each group of four countries have a different set of adjudicators.
A single winner will be selected from each group of four countries (i.e. one winner from Group A, one winner from Group B, one winner from Group C). Absa will then bring to the Absa Gallery in Johannesburg the winners entered artwork from each Group. The abovementioned winning artworks will make up the final exhibition with the Gerard Sekoto winner.
The Absa L’Atelier art competition sets the stage for the four prize winners to promote their work by exhibiting at the Absa Gallery, in Johannesburg, South Africa, and having their artwork documented in a sought-after catalogue.
The Absa L’Atelier art competition is open to everyone aged 21 to 40 years old. All artists, those with formal training, as well as self-taught artists, are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in the competition.
The adjudication and selection of artworks are done from the online entries. Adjudication of all artworks is done by an independent panel of adjudicators appointed by the partners; namely the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA) and Absa.
The adjudicators for the Gerard Sekoto Award are appointed by the Alliance Française, the Institut Français d’Afrique du Sud and the French Embassy in South Africa.
Each adjudicator is chosen for their particular field of expertise within the visual arts, including sculpture, painting, digital, printmaking and so forth, and each contributes to the assessment of what is deemed to be quality.
The criteria for the adjudication revolve around matters of technical execution, conceptual and thematic engagement, freshness of artistic vision within the context of African contemporary art, and finally – and probably the most difficult element — aesthetic appeal.
The adjudication for the Gerard Sekoto Award will be based on the body of artworks and the CV of the artist. Through their CV the artist must have demonstrated a willingness to grow and develop themselves as an artist, making use of the opportunities provided to them (i.e. participation in group exhibitions, solo exhibitions, previously having entered the Absa L’Atelier, participation on other art platforms).
As per the draw held on the 4th of April 2019, the countries competing against one another in Group A, B and C are as follows