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Tuesday, July 9, 2013


There are only two months left for artists to enter South Africa’s first National Portrait Award, sponsored by Sanlam Private Investments (SPI).

The closing date for entries is August 19, 2013.

The competition is open to artists of 21 years and older who work in any media, with the exception of lens-based media. Unlike many portrait competitions around the world that restrict entries to two dimensional tradition media, SPI’s competition is open to three dimensional works as well.

“The competition should attract a diversity of approaches to the subject of the portrait and I look forward to artists that are prepared to interrogate the concept and push beyond the normal and accepted,” says Stefan Hundt, head of the SPI Art Advisory service and co-ordinator of the judging panel for the competition.

There are three judges for the competition. Judith Mason, celebrated South African artist who has proved herself in a diversity of media and continues to contribute inspired images into the current art world. Hayden Proud, curator for Historical Painting and Sculptures at the Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, is an accomplished portrait painter in his own right and brings an experienced artist's and curator’s eye to the panel. Vulindlela Nyoni, a lecturer in printmaking at the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Stellenbosch, brings a youthful and cutting edge perspective on image making and printmaking to the adjudication process.

“We are particularly pleased with the make-up of the panel of judges, as they are independent, experienced artists in their own right and together they bring a more than 150 years of knowledge of the mediums and history, to this process” says Monica Ross curator at the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery in Durbanville host of the SPI National Portrait Award for this year.

The winning portrait will be awarded a R100,000 prize and a selection of about 40 works will be touring the country. Exhibitions are planned in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Knysna, George and Bloemfontein.

The final submission date for entries is August 19, 2013, with the announcement of the winning portrait taking place on August 27, 2013, at the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, Durbanville.

Entry forms available for download at / or contact Monica Ross at or 021 976 4691.