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ABSA L’ATELIER AWARD (article first published : 2004-06-12)

The winner of the 2004 Absa L`Atelier Art competition’s sought-after prize of a six-month study period at the Cité Internationale des Arts in the heart of Paris, will be announced within three months.

The South African National Association of the Visual Arts (SANAVA) has selected 107 artworks from 550 entries received from across the country for the finals of the 2004 Absa L'Atelier Art competition.

The prize includes R100,000 pocket money, a return ticket to France and free access to galleries and museums in the capital. The much sought-after prize will allow the winner to develop his or her talent among international artists from all corners of the globe.

A welcome addition to the Absa L'Atelier art competition is the Gerard Sekoto award for the most promising artist. Valued at R80,000, this award comprises a return ticket to Paris, three months accommodation at the Cité Internationale des Arts, nationwide touring exhibitions and French language classes.

Four merit award winners will each pocket R20,000 and the top ten finalists will each receive a R1,000 bonus prize.

Marco Cianfannelli, winner of the 2002 competition, says that the biggest benefit of the award is that it allows an artist to completely focus on their art for a period of six months and doing it in a city like Paris with all the galleries and museums was fantastic. ”The award has such a prestige value beyond the obvious material and exposure benefits that it definitely makes a difference to one’s career,“ he adds.

The Absa L’Atelier competition has been the launch pad for the careers of many South African artists who have become household names on the global stage: artists such as Penny Siopis, William Kentridge, Karel Nel, Dianne Victor and Colbert Mashile.

The winner of the 2004 Absa L`Atelier Art competition’s will be announced at the Awards evening on July 13.




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