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Monday, February 24, 2014


Deadline: March 7, 2014.

If you feel that conceptualising and rendering your chosen art form involves a lot of blood, sweat and tears, you’re in good company. Great art takes blood, sweat and tears is the central idea behind this year’s creative campaign promoting the Absa L’Atelier art competition, which is now open and calling for entries.

The competition enters its 29th year this year, and is once again looking for those standout young artists who think they have what it takes to produce great art.

A significant change to this year’s competition is the entry mechanic. For the first time ever, only online entries logged via will be accepted. This means there will be no more paper-based entries. All artists are encouraged to enter online, with provision being made at the collection points for those who don’t have Internet access.

To sweeten the pot there are four art residencies up for grabs. The main prize is R150,000 from Absa, a return air ticket to Paris and at least three months’ (and not more than six months’) study and accommodation at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. The Gerard Sekoto Award prize (for the most promising artist with an annual income less than R60,000) is a return air ticket to Paris and a three-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, sponsored by Alliance Française and the French Embassy. The two Merit Award prizes include a two-month stint at the Sylt Foundation on the Island of Sylt in Germany, and a one-month stay at the Ampersand Foundation in New York. The Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris residencies are made available by the South African National Association for the Visual Arts.

All young artists aged 21-35 who are permanent South African residents are invited to participate in the Absa L’Atelier art competition. Art students meeting these requirements and who are in their final year of study may also enter. A maximum of three works may be entered per artist. Only original art works may be entered, and these works must have been completed in the 24 months prior to the closing date of the competition.

Entries close on March 7, 2014. Application forms can be downloaded from