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ABSA L'ATELIER COMPETITION (article first published : 2006-03-4)

Artists aged between 21 and 35 have less than a month to submit entries for the continent's richest art award for young artists - the annual Absa L'Atelier competition which carries prize value of R400,000.

The longest established art competition in Africa - which celebrates its 21st anniversary this year - boasts the sought-after prizes of a six-month study period at the prestigious Cité Internationale des Arts in the heart of Paris. It includes R100,000 pocket money, a return ticket to France and free access to galleries and museums in the capital. Last year's winner was 31-year old Berco Wilsenach.

The competition also features the R80,000 Gerard Sekoto Award for a second winner - the most promising artist. It comprises a return ticket to Paris, three months accommodation at the Cité, nationwide touring exhibitions and French language classes. This prize was won last year by 23-year old Lawrence Lemaoana.

In addition, four merit award winners will each pocket R20,000 while the top 10 finalists will receive a R1,000 bonus prize. This brings the total prize value of the Absa L'Atelier art competition to R400,000.

Presented in conjunction with the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA), 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 Clive van den Berg, Walter Oltmann, Isaac Khanyile, Karel Nel and Diane Victor.

For more information, competition rules, collection points and an entry form contact Cecile Loedolff at Absa on 011 350 5793 or go to www.absa.co.za

Entries will be collected between March 6 and March 10 at selected depots countrywide – in Durban this is artSPACE durban. Also look out for entry forms at Absa branches.




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