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Friday, February 27, 2015


Deadline: March 6, 2015

The South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA) urges artists to enter South Africa’s longest running art competition, L’Atelier.

Association National President, Dirkie Offringa, says SANAVA is proud to be associated with the competition “which has for 30 years stood artists in good stead.” He says: “Apart from the monetary value, winners also have the opportunity to work at a SANAVA studio at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France.”

Absa Art and Museum Curator, Dr Paul Bayliss notes: “For the first time in its 30-year history, L'Atelier has invited young and emerging artists from Botswana, Zambia, Ghana and Kenya to enter the 2015 competition. L’Atelier has had a significant impact on the lives of South African artists and Barclays Africa is privileged to be able to continue this tradition and extend it to young and emerging artists from other African countries. Historically, this award has not only ensured that South Africa’s young and emerging artists were recognised, but has also afforded them the opportunity to develop their talents abroad. A look through the list of previous winners will testify to this.”

Offringa says the fact that L’Atelier now also includes other African countries, broadens the horizons of SANAVA members as they now enter a competition with a much wider participation base. “This is much more advantageous for international recognition.”

Sponsored by Barclays Africa and hosted in conjunction with SANAVA, L’Atelier is renowned for its role in inspiring, motivating and promoting young artists. The competition has become a much-anticipated annual highlight on the calendars of young and emerging artists who thrive on the exposure their work receives from the countrywide exhibitions and the exhibition catalogue, both of which play important roles in helping to further their budding careers.

All young artists aged 21 to 35 years, residing in South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Zambia and Kenya are invited to enter the 2015 competition. Five coveted art residency prizes are awarded to the winners, including a six month main prize at the Cité Internationale des Arts, three merit residency award prizes and the Gerard Sekoto Award for the most promising artist which includes a three month main prize at the Cité, sponsored by The Alliance Française, the French Institute and the French Embassy.

Online entries for the competition are now open until March 6. Once artists have completed their online entry form, artists can either personally deliver or courier their artworks to their nearest collection point. Collection points are open from March 2 to 6. All points close at 16h00 on March 6 and no late entries will be accepted

Originally known as the Volkskas Bank Atelier Competition, it was later absorbed as part of Absa’s portfolio of events after the merging of the founding brands of Absa (then known as Amalgamated Banks of South Africa) in 1998. From 1999 until 2001, the competition was known as the Absa Atelier Competition, and in 2002 it changed its name to Absa L’Atelier. In 2015, the competition enters another new chapter as it becomes part of the Barclays Africa fold, following the acquisition by Barclays of a majority share in Absa to form Barclays Africa Group in 2013. The competition is now known as L’Atelier.

For more information, contact 011 350 3003 or visit