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DBSA ART COMPETITIONS (article first published : 2006-06-19)

The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has embarked on two major art projects during the past four years as part of its ongoing commitment and vision to enhance the quality of life of the people of southern Africa.

“Sponsoring the arts is one of the means of reaching and maintaining the Bank‘s vision of investing in people by helping them grow and develop themselves,” says Manda Bester, Public Relations and Events Specialist and Project Manager Art Initiatives at DBSA.

The two bi-annual art initiatives are the art competition for senior schools that was introduced in 2004 and the Soul of Africa art exhibitions launched in 2003.

These initiatives aim to expose the richness of the creative spirit in its diversity in SADC countries and affirm identity through art while showcasing expertise and initiative in arts and crafts. They are also designed to recognise established and emerging talent and emphasise the distinct role of arts and crafts within society. While redefining the boundaries of creative expression, they will encourage research in the the attitude of contemporary African art as opposed to traditionally inspired art and explore the economic viability and sustainability of arts and crafts in the SADC region.

DBSA’s second art competition which is themed “South African youth in support of development” will include schools in all nine provinces. Entries close on June 27 and entrants will be competing in two categories: learners from public secondary and high schools; and learners from private, independent and art schools.

“The Development Bank recognises the importance of art in the development of the youth and the Department of Education received the project with great enthusiasm and support,” explains Manda Bester. “Therefore, in sponsoring a competition of this nature, the Bank hopes to contribute to the development of the visual arts in South Africa particularly through the youth.

“Because the Bank is primarily involved in infrastructure development, we hope that learners will attempt to portray in their works the impact of infrastructure on their lives,” she adds. “They are at liberty to depict their notions of development in relation to their aspirations and fears. The hardships experienced by the youth in the absence of infrastructure could equally feature in their works.”

In the public schools category, prizes will include R1,000 towards the education of one short-listed learner from each province; R5,000 to an identified art-related project for each short-listed learner’s school; R10,000 towards the education of the overall winner; and R20,000 towards an identified art-related project for the overall winner’s school.

Prizes in the category for private, independent and art schools will include a first prize of R5,000 with second and third prizes being R3,500 and R2,500 respectively. Winners in this latter category will not qualify for the overall winner’s prize and their schools will not be eligible for any prize.




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