Deadline Approaching: Absa L’Atelier Competition Offers Exciting Opportunities for Artists across Africa

latelier

The Absa L’Atelier Competition for Artists across 12 African countries including South Africa

DEADLINE: 31 May 2023

The Absa L’Atelier Competition for Artists across 12 African countries including South Africa

Format of the competition

  • There are 12 countries that qualify to take part in the Absa L’Atelier.
  • After receiving the entries, 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 among the three groups – artists compete within each group only.
  • Artists are required to submit one entry that consists of a portfolio of work of a minimum of 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 will have a different group of adjudicators.
  • A single winner will be selected from each of the three groups of four countries – one winner from Group A, one winner from Group B, and one winner from Group C.
  • Absa will exhibit artwork from each of the group winners in the Absa Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa, after the announcement of the winners.
  • The abovementioned winning artworks will make up the final exhibition, along with the Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award winner.
  • The winner of each group will be referred to as an Absa L’Atelier Ambassador.

Competition

The prizes

There are four prizes for the competition:

  • The main prize for the winner of each Group; and
  • The Absa Latelier Gerard Sekoto Award for a South African entrant that continues to demonstrate growth in their art production.

Competition terms and conditions

The Absa Latelier, through its prizes focuses on how best to support the artist in growing their brand and in equipping artists with the relevant skills needed to build their careers. The competition also gives artists opportunities to build their network and collaborate in their art practice, while providing them with a unique platform that would best position them within the visual arts industry.

Main prize

The winner from each of the three groups will receive the following:

  1. The Ambassadors must take up their prizes concurrently.
  2. Each Ambassador to be provided with a new laptop, which is loaded with the latest Windows and MS Office Package.
  3. The first part of the prize will be divided into two parts.
  4. For the first part of their prize, the Ambassadors will enjoy 10 intensive masterclasses from February to July 2024. Each masterclass is 120 minutes. Virtual platforms allow for the masterclasses to be held with leading experts from across the globe. It is compulsory for the Ambassadors to participate in the masterclasses. The masterclasses will cover the following topics:
    • MC1: Mental wellness
    • MC2: Financial wellness
    • MC3: Legal wellbeing
    • MC4: Developing your career as an artist and brand
    • MC5: Media training and presence
    • MC6: Building and managing an art portfolio
    • MC7: Art of negotiating and conflict resolution
    • MC8: Fundraising and proposal writing
    • MC9: Art professionalism
    • MC10: Artist residencies.
  5. For the second part of the prize, the Ambassadors are paired with a local leading authority from their respective country within the visual arts who will mentor them over a four-month period (June to September 2024).
    • Participation by the Ambassadors in the mentoring programme is compulsory.
    • During these sessions the Ambassador will work with their mentor towards a collaborative exhibition with their fellow Ambassadors that will take place in the Absa Gallery in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa, at the end of 2024 and, thereafter in 2025, travel to each of the Ambassador’s respective countries the following year. The hosting gallery in the artist’s country will be identified by Absa and its partners.
    • If the Ambassador is a South African artist, the exhibition will not travel to another South African venue.
    • All materials required for the production of the collaborativeexhibition, including the framing of the artworks, will be covered up to a maximum value of R70,000 by Absa.
    • The Ambassador will be required to be physically present for the opening of the exhibition at the respective venues, Absa shall cover all travel expenses within reason.
  6. Each Ambassador will have an option of taking up a solo exhibition in the Absa Gallery within a five- year period of winning the prize. All material required for the production of the solo exhibition, as well as the framing of the artworks, will be covered up to a maximum value of R100,000 by Absa. It will be at Absa’s discretion whether this exhibition will then travel to the artists host country post its showing in the Absa Gallery. The hosting gallery in the artist’s country will be identified by Absa and its partners. If the Ambassador is a South African artist, the exhibition will not travel to another South African venue. The Ambassador will be required to be physically present for the opening of their exhibition, Absa shall cover all travel expenses within reason to get the Ambassador to the opening.
  7. The masterclass, mentoring and collaborative exhibition to take place in 2024.
  8. The prize and/or any part thereof may not be exchanged for cash, in-kind and/or otherwise and/or in lieu thereof.
  9. Candidates accept all terms and conditions of entry and by entering the artist acknowledges having read, understood and thus accepted such terms and conditions of submission of their entry to the competition.
  10. Candidates accept all terms and conditions of entry and by entering the artist acknowledges having read, understood and thus accepted such terms and conditions of submission of their entry to the competition.

Gerard Sekoto Award

The Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award is open to any South African artist aged 25 to 35 years of age. The Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award is made possible by the Institut Français d’Afrique du Sud and the French Embassy in South Africa, in partnership with Absa and SANAVA. In order to qualify, the entrant must be a permanent South African citizen and be permanently residing within South Africa.

The Award includes:

  1. A three (3) month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France. This would include a return airfare from South Africa to Paris, a daily stipend while in Paris, and return transport from the artist place of residence in South Africa to the airport.
  2. The Award recipient will be required to take up their residency from April to June in 2024.
  3. A solo exhibition in the Absa Gallery in Downtown Johannesburg in February 2025. Absa will cover the material and framing costs for this exhibition up to a maximum value of R100,000.
  4. Three virtual masterclasses; namely, (1) Mental Wellness; (2) Financial Wellness; and, (3) Legal Wellbeing.
  5. Winners are obliged to take up the residency in the year following receipt of the Award during the period it is offered and may not defer such prize to an alternate date.
  6. The Award recipient is required to be physically present for the opening of their exhibition, Absa shall cover all travel expenses within reason to get the Award recipient to the opening.
  7. If the winner elects not to accept the Award and/or any part thereof and/or is unable to accept same for any reason whatsoever, such prize may at the discretion of the sponsors be offered to one of the other participants, with the result that the refusing winner will not receive the prize and/or any part thereof;
  8. The prize and/or any part thereof may not be exchanged for cash, in-kind and/or otherwise and/or in lieu thereof;

Candidates accept all terms and conditions of entry and by entering the artist acknowledges having read, understood and thus accepted such terms and conditions of submission of their entry to the competition.

The date of residency is April to June 2024.

Conditions of entry

Entries

  • All entry details of the artist and artwork must be submitted on the Absa L’Atelier online competition portal.
  • All fields must be completed when submitting an entry.
  • Any field left blank will result in automatic disqualification of the entry.
  • Artists will be able to upload up to 10 (ten) images for each entry showcasing the portfolio of artworks.
  • Adjudication for each submitted entry is done via the online portal.

Online registration

  • Online registration will open on the Absa L’Atelier website on 1 April 2023.
  • The competition will close on 31 May 2023 at 16:00 (CAT).

No late entries will be considered.

How the winners are selected

Adjudication process in the Absa L’Atelier art competition

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.

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 given an equal opportunity to participate in the competition.

Adjudication of all submitted 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 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 submitted  and the CV of the artist. Through their CV the artist must have demonstrated a willingness to grow and develop themselves as an artist, using the opportunities provided to them (i.e. participation in group exhibitions, solo exhibitions, previously having entered the Absa L’Atelier and participation on other art platforms).

Who may enter?

The competition is open to all artists who are not younger than 21 and not older than 40 in March 2023. In the case of art students, only students in their final year of study, who meet the age requirements, may participate.

All prize winners will be required to take up the prize as per the date mentioned in the entry details.

Only artists who are citizens or have been granted permanent residency and are permanently residing in South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Ghana, Botswana, Uganda, Mozambique, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Tanzania, Nigeria or Namibia may enter the competition. The airfare to the Absa Gallery and the residency in France or South Africa forms part of the prize, and is only from the participating countries.

If information is not captured accurately on the system and any information is missing from the online registration, the entrant will automatically be disqualified.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Absa 2022 L’Atelier art competition

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