A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

visual arts
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

MTN NEW CONTEMPORARIES AWARD (article first published : 2008-02-22)

It’s all activity in the art world as the distinctive MTN New Contemporaries Award returns to the South African art scene. Held approximately every two years, this prestigious competition identifies four emerging South African artists as the new stars of the art galaxy, and awards a winner among them.

In July 2008 this event will again take place, culminating at the University of Johannesburg’s ultra-contemporary gallery, where the winner and three runners-up will be announced with prize money and other incentives.

One of the MTN SA Foundation’s most renowned projects, the MTN New Contemporaries Award is a competition designed to promote talented, cutting-edge artists who have not yet received critical acclaim but who are positioned to be the next leaders in the art field.

Nominating the four artists for the MTN New Contemporaries Award is something of a quest. The process starts with a national research project, undertaken by an appointed curator who is a specialist in contemporary art. This year the MTN SA Foundation’s choice is the dynamic Melissa Mboweni, a Johannesburg-based writer and curator. Once her two-month research project and tour to studios and galleries is complete, she will present her findings and nominate four finalists.

These young selected artists will then create a new piece of artwork especially for the MTN New Contemporaries exhibition to be showcased at the University of Johannesburg Gallery in July. Only when the newly-developed art pieces are complete does the curator step back to allow an independent judging committee, drawn from across the country, choose the winner.

The MTN New Contemporaries Award is distinctly different from conventional art competitions in South Africa in that it is entirely unsolicited by the artists it honours. The competition also jettisons old stereotypes about art and foregrounds our artists as a source of new ideas and media. As Philippa Hobbs, MTN SA Foundation, Arts and Culture Portfolio Manager, puts it: “Through this award the public has the opportunity to become familiar with new languages of emerging artists. MTN recognises the need to encourage creative individuals who will drive South Africa’s cultural environment in the future.’

The MTN New Contemporaries Award was initiated in 2001 and has drawn in top curators such as Khwezi Gule (2006), Kathryn Smith (2003) and Clive Kellner (2001). Exposure generated by the awards has facilitated national and international opportunities for past winners, Mlungisi Zondi (2006), Thando Mama (2003) and Thembinkosi Goniwe (2001), who have gone on to exhibit across the globe. Mama received the Belgian Community Award in Dakar in 2004, and Goniwe has since been appointed to the staff of the Wits School of Fine Art.

“Through projects such as the MTN New Contemporaries Award, the MTN SA Foundation’s Arts and Culture programme creates role models, fosters new talent, rewards top art learners, encourages dedicated teachers, fills gaps in teacher training, develops learner materials and provides material for syllabi and assessment,” says Philippa, who is also the curator of the MTN Art Collection. “These projects have reached over 180,000 South African learners and teachers to date. Also managed by the MTN SA Foundation, the MTN Art Collection houses some 1,500 diverse historic works of art – both traditional and contemporary – from across South Africa and the rest of Africa. This is a socially-conscious collection which supports trainers, learners and emerging artists.”




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart