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BRETT KEBBLE ART AWARDS (article first published : 2004-06-6)

Artists queue at regional points across the country to make the deadline for the submissions to The Brett Kebble Art Awards.

The deadline for submissions to the country's premier art award caused a minor traffic jam in the normally tranquil suburb of Bishopscourt yesterday as Cape Town artists rushed to get their works in by 12 noon to the headquarters of the Brett Kebble Art Awards.

There were similar scenes at selection points across the country, while in Johannesburg, queues reminiscent of Voter Registration snaked their way around the Sandton Art Gallery precinct. By 12 noon just over 1,830 entries country-wide had been received.

"It's an incredible turn-out," said a delighted Clive van den Berg, the curator of the 2004 awards. "I had a feeling it would be well subscribed but this exceeds even my high expectations. Given the works I have seen so far I have great hopes for an outstanding exhibition."

Of the high number of entries received, gallery owner and art curator Teresa Lizamore concurred: "It's virtually unheard of for an art award in South Africa to receive so many entries. It proves that there is a definite need for an award of this stature."

Now that all the works have been submitted and logged, it is up to the selectors to decide which of the 1830 plus works will make it to the finals. The task of selecting the potential winners falls to Clive van den Berg and fellow art professionals Julia Charlton (curator of the Wits Art Galleries) and Churchill Madikida (artist and curator of the Constitution Hill Collection). Assisting the selectors will be Khwezi Gule, the recipient of the first BKAA curatorial fellowship, and BKAA co-curator, Claire Breukel.

The team will spend just under a month touring South Africa and selecting the finalists. Those art works selected will be transported to Cape Town to take part in one of the biggest exhibitions of contemporary art ever seen in South Africa.

Once the works have been selected and mounted on the exhibition, it will fall to the judges namely, painter and photographer Zwelethu Mthethwa; Professor Penny Siopis, head of Fine Art at the University of the Witwatersrand; artist and lecturer Frank Ledimo; art advisor Julia Meintjes, and art patron Lucia Burger - to select the recipients of the awards. Six top works will each receive R60,000, whilst one exceptional work will earn its creator R200,000. In addition there will be merit awards of R10,000 to be allocated by the judges at their discretion.




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