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SASOL WAX ART AWARD 2008 FINALISTS (article first published : 2008-06-2)

Now in its third year, the Sasol wax art award has become synonymous with innovative art from highly deserving senior professionals.

This year’s Sasol wax art award finalists, and exhibitors on the prestigious exhibition to be held later this year, are Stephen Hobbs, Avhashone Mainganye, Hentie van der Merwe, Brett Murray and Tracey Rose.

The finalists were selected from a group of ten semi-finalists who include Kevin Brand, Wilma Cruise, Paul Edmunds and Stephen Hobbs, Terri Kurgan.

The Sasol Wax Art Award is targeted at mid-career and professionally mature artists with substantial exhibition profiles. With total prize monies of R230,000, this award represents the top accolades for professional (mid-career) artists in South Africa.

The selected semi- finalists were selected from over a hundred entries from senior artists all over South Africa who were expected to submit proposals for a body of work using wax (one of Sasol’s major products worldwide), either in process, medium or concept. The judging panel was led by respected curator and artist Gordon Froud

From these proposals, the five finalists were selected and will each receive R20,000 to produce a body of work for the Sasol Wax Art Award exhibition, to be held at the University of Johannesburg Art Gallery on October. One winner will be awarded R130,000 joining the ranks of former Durban artist Jeremy Wafer and Walter Oltmann who won the Award in 2006 and 2007 respectively.

Says Executive Director, Carola Ross, “the group of semi-finalists this year were diverse and highly respected members of the arts community. Competition was tough. We congratulate these five artists for their outstanding submissions. “

The proposals received explore applications of the product in highly innovative ways.

Says Award Curator and Artistic Director, Les Cohn: “The exhibition in October will reflect five very distinctive and challenging well developed voices of the South African art landscape. A strong theme running through the submissions was the question of “Power” - from corporate structures to issues of governance, this exhibition will engage with some very real concerns that South Africans are facing. “

Also launched at the awards ceremony was the partnership between the Sasol wax art award and Department of Arts and Culture for the Jewellery Outreach Development Initiative. This project identifies skills development and technical excellence in Jewellery design as a priority. Opportunities have thus been developed to act as catalysts for aspirant jewellery designers to explore creative concepts, and develop technical excellence. Bringing together students from the University of Johannesburg Jewellery Department and Imfundiso Skills Development project this programme provides skills training, and encourages creative exchange between the two parties.

A mentorship programme with the Durban University of Technology and students from the African Art Centre in Durban is also under development.

Works by the students developed through the extensive training programme and resultant competition will be on display at the South African Fashion Week in August 2008, and at the Sasol wax art award exhibition.

The Sasol wax art award exhibition will run from October 14 to November 7, 2008, at the University of Johannesburg Art Gallery, Kingsway Campus.




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