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INVESTEC ART COMPETITION (article first published : 2004-04-14)

In line with Investec’s ongoing commitment to fostering entrepreneurs at all levels of society, it recently launched an out-of-the-ordinary arts and crafts competition.

“At the core of Investec’s spirit is stimulating a vibrant entrepreneurial society at all levels, and this is critical for the economic growth of South Africa,” said Investec’s Global Head of Marketing Raymond van Niekerk. “The arts are often overlooked by programmes supporting entrepreneurs. With this competition, we attempted in some small way to extend opportunities to artists in the categories of visual arts, accessories, decorative design and functional design.”

Investec’s The Business Place, along with the Artists’ Proof Studio and the Johannesburg Art Gallery and other venues, conducted briefings for artists and crafts people in Gauteng. More than 150 entries from Gauteng were submitted answering the request to interpret an Out of the Ordinary Zebra in Black and White. The criteria for evaluating each piece were its impact, whether it was out of the ordinary and complementary to the Investec brand, and the interpretation of the black and white zebra theme.

With each entry, contestants were asked to provide a motivation for their piece as well as details of the challenges they face as entrepreneurs to establish themselves.

Winners in all four categories as well as runners-ups will have their work auctioned off and some pieces will be featured in Investec’s Black Economic Empowerment brochure.

“The spirit of entrepreneurialism has governed Investec’s entire approach to BEE. So instead of hiring professional artists to illustrate this document, we decided instead to showcase emerging arts and craftspeople,” said van Niekerk. “We hope the many talented people who entered the competition will enjoy indirect as well as financial benefits from the publication of their work in our brochures.”

Some 24 works will be auctioned to Investec employees as well as visitors of both Investec and The Business Place. In addition, a cash prize of R8,000 was awarded to the overall winners who took first place in the decorative design category, the Ikageng Embroidery Group, a consortium of ten women comprising Grace Nkosi, Jane Dhlamini, Fikile Mavuso, Gloria Malisa, Eunice Mususumedi, Dimakatso Rablolila, Promise Mokoena, Lydia Molefe, Kgaogelo Mogamedi, Alinah Mphasane. The category winners will receive a total of R25,000 in prize money from Investec, prior to the auction.

A spokesperson for the Ikageng Embroidery Group said the women will use their winnings to buy sewing equipment and fabric to start the business they’ve dreamed of.




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