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ATELIER JUDGING (article first published : 2000-03-18)

The Absa Atelier Arts Competition has been in existence for 15 years and is endorsed by the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA). Judging of artworks submitted for this year’s competition is underway at provincial galleries around the country. From these, about 100 works will selected for the final round of the competition in Johannesburg.

Over the past few weeks artists between the ages of 21 and 35 have submitted around 450 works - fine art, prints and sculptures – through local branches of SANAVA. The competition, popular among the young art world for its prestige and prizes, encourages quality entrants each year. The winner walks away with prize money of R60 000 and a round trip to France with accommodation for up to six months in the Cité Internationale des Arts. This is an artists' community in the centre of Paris where novices and masters from all over the world meet to live with and learn from each other. Each of the four runners-up receives R10 000.

"Absa Atelier provides an incentive for local, young artists to produce their best works for entry,” explains Absa Group Executive Director, Santie Botha. “It is not just about money, but also about providing young artists with a platform to showcase and develop their talents. The exposure these emerging artists receive through Atelier is vital to their careers. With sponsorship of the arts on the decline, it is up to corporates to invest in our young artists. Their works not only enrich our lives, but help to preserve our country's culture for future generations."

The winners will be announced at a gala function in Johannesburg on July 12 at the opening of the public exhibition of the finalists which will run until August 14 at the Absa Gallery.




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