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START: THE NIVEA ART AWARD (article first published : 2005-04-19)

Twenty KwaZulu-Natal artists had a lucky break which could signify the start of their careers in the arts, when they were selected from 218 entries to become Start. The Nivea Art Award 2005 finalists.

To enter the competition, artists had to submit photographs of three to four of their existing two-dimensional works. From these photographs the judges selected the twenty finalists.

According to Anthea Martin, Director of the African Art Centre and an artist herself, the selection was no easy task. “There was a very good response to the competition which reached a wide spectrum of artists.”

Over the next four months the finalists will each create a unique artwork, commissioned by NIVEA. The artworks will be two-dimensional reflections of people sharing special moments, and will mirror one or more of NIVEA’s core values - care, reliability, understanding, humanity, love and harmony.

Judges will decide on the three top works, and prize winners will be announced at an exhibition opening at NSA Gallery. The winner will be awarded the official Start. The Nivea Art Award and R20,000 cash, with cash prizes for the runner-up and third place of R10,000 and R5,000 cash respectively.

The works will be exhibited for the public to view or purchase from June 1 to 19 which will afford the artists the opportunity to showcase their talents to the art world, public and media.

Anthea Martin commented, “The artists that were selected show great promise and the twenty final works will be an exhibition not to be missed.”

Besides Anthea Martin, the distinguished panel of judges includes art advisor Julia Meintjes; artist Sfiso Ka-Mkame; artist, curator and manager of Natal Society of Arts (NSA) Storm Janse van Rensberg and artist/printmaker Gabisile Nkosi.

Ann-Christin Wagenmann, Managing Director of Beiersdorf said, “We have seen from the response to this competition and the numerous entries received that there is a wealth of artistic talent in this province alone, with vibrant new ideas and big hopes and dreams. This Award is a START for artists who have been provided with a platform to launch a successful career in the arts, and for NIVEA to support the cultural growth in this country.”

“Artists from all walks of life and all ages entered the competition. Of the finalists, the youngest artist is 23, and the oldest is 64. Finalists also include a group entry from Eshowe Prison as well as deaf artist, Thubani Msomi whose entries wowed the judges,” continued A.C. Wagenmann.

The finalists are (in alphabetical order) Dineo Bopape, Caroline Birch, Moses Buthelezi, Welcome Danca, Clinton De Menezes, Zama Dunywa, Innocent Hlela, Scelo Hlongwa, Thulani Mabaso, Mzikayise Mathenjwa, Mandla Mkhwanazi, Thabani Msomi, Samuel Ntshangase, Cheryl Penn, Muziwenkosi Shandu, Sandile Selby Sibiya, Jane Todd, Zolisa Zozi and Siphiwe Zulu as well as The Eshowe Prison group entry.

More details from Sharon Wilkinson on 031 563 0122 or email swilkinson@mweb.co.za




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