Zimbabwean Artist Tawanda Takura Wins 2024 Cassirer Welz Award

Zimbabwean Artist Tawanda Takura Wins 2024 Cassirer Welz Award

Bag Factory Artists’ Studios, in collaboration with Strauss & Co. Education and Fine Art Auctioneers, proudly announces Charles Mukucha Tawanda Takura from Zimbabwe as the winner of the 13th Cassirer Welz Award.

Established in 2011 by Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer to honor her husband Reinhold Cassirer’s passion for the arts, this award has become a distinguished recognition for emerging local artists. Following Stephan Welz’s death, the Cassirer Welz Award was renamed to honor both men’s contributions to the South African art scene.

Through its enduring partnership with Strauss Education, the Cassirer Welz Award has been instrumental in launching the careers of its recipients, helping them gain recognition in the South African art market. As the award celebrates over a decade of excellence, Bag Factory Artists’ Studios and Strauss Education continue their commitment to fostering emerging talent.

Courtesy of Cassirer Welz Award.

Since its inception, the award’s reach has expanded across the continent. The 2024 call for entries included artists from several countries within the Triangle Network, such as Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. With great pride, this year’s award is presented to a Zimbabwean artist.

The selection jury, which included Bag Factory Director Maria Fidel Regueros, Programmes Manager Nala Xaba, Strauss & Co. Executive Director Client Advisory Khetiwe McClain, and Art Specialist Arisha Maharaj, agreed that Takura is an exceptional artist. This creative and professional growth opportunity will significantly benefit his self-taught practice in found object sculpture.

“Since its inception, this award has helped the winners launch their careers and start making a name for themselves. It recognizes artistic excellence, encourages creative practice, and provides the supportive space and presentation platforms required by emerging artists. This award is an important part of Strauss & Co.’s ongoing and substantial commitment to young talent in southern Africa and on the continent – and is a powerful example of the company’s investment in the art of the future,” said Susie Goodman, Executive Director, Strauss & Co.

With the generous support of Strauss & Co. and funding from Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), Takura will receive a three-month residency at the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios from July 8 to September 27, 2024, where he will work alongside permanent and visiting artists at all stages of their careers. The residency includes contributions to travel, accommodation, per diem, materials, and production costs. The residency will culminate in a solo exhibition of new works at the Bag Factory, opening to the public at the end of September.

Since its inception, this award has seen the winners launch their careers and start making a name for themselves within the South African art market. Previous winners include Blessing Ngobeni, Bulumko Mbete, Nompumelelo Ngoma, Tshepo Mosopa, Asanda Kupa, Thato Nhlapho, Richard “Specs” Ndimande, Keneilwe Mokoena, DuduBloom More, and Levy Pooe.

This year’s award finalists included:

  • Fred Zucule: A photographer, poet, and cultural worker from Maputo, Mozambique, currently based in Nairobi, Kenya. Their work explores themes of migration, queerness, and care.
  • Chumani “ivukuvuku” Mantanga: From eMgwenyane village at Tsomo in the Eastern Cape, she is a multi-dimensional artist who works across various disciplines, exploring themes of memory, healing, history, and ancestry.
  • Keabetswe Seema: A visual artist working in Johannesburg with a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Pretoria, her practice revolves around the politics of the body and identity.
  • Masindi Ikhona Nafisa Mbolekwa: A young artist living and practicing in Johannesburg, South Africa, whose primary practice is a conversation about painting, history, culture, space, community, and God.
  • Nyashadzashe Marovatsanga: A young painter who lives and works in Harare, Zimbabwe, and has developed a powerful painterly language under the mentorship of Misheck Masamvu.
  • Treasure Mlima: A self-taught South African artist born in Durban, who creates 2D prints showcasing imagery dealing with space and identity from an African perspective.

For more information, please visit Bag Factory Artists Studio and Strauss & Co Fine Art Auctioneers.

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