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Saturday, October 24, 2015


Deadline: 12 noon on February 15, 2016

Entries are open for the second SA Taxi Foundation Art Award as South Africa’s only mobile visual art and design cross over award takes art to the public once again

The award is unique in the South African visual arts community in that it requires artists to create a piece of visual art and then interpret it for use as a decal on minibus taxis.

Artists therefore need to go beyond their normal focus on expressing their particular vision in an original artwork. They must also work to a commercial design brief. In the process, the broader public is exposed to art via minibus taxis that carry the decal design on a range of routes across the country.

“We’ve had an extremely good response to the six works by the winners of the 2014 competition that have been travelling on taxis since June this year,” says Kalnisha Singh, director of the SA Taxi Foundation. “Some of the operators whose taxis carried the art wanted us to extend the six month period for the decals because passengers would actually wait for an art taxi rather than get on a taxi that happened to be available.

“Also, after some initial skepticism, executives of various taxi associations and operations have commented that the award is elevating the public’s perception of the industry, “Singh adds. “These reactions and those from the general public indicate that the art award is achieving the primary goal we set for it, which is to bridge the cultural and social gaps among all sectors of South African society. We believe the social relevance and impact of the awards will be deepened with each passing year.”

In the first year of the competition, only artists who had had no solo exhibitions qualified to enter. This year, artists who have had no more than two solo exhibitions may enter.

In addition to innovating at the level of the visual arts, the SA Taxi Foundation Art Award has called for a new approach to the production of decals for minibus taxis. Normally, as advertising, decals cover a single panel or the back door of the vehicle. The award artworks, however, cover much larger areas of the vehicle and artists are involved in brainstorming sessions with the SA Taxi media division to help them redesign their original decal concepts so as to optimise the way the decal wraps around a vehicle.

Each year’s winner of the competition receives a cash prize of R50,000. Each of the five finalists receives a cash prize of R10,000. Finalists’ artwork is displayed at the Lizamore & Associates Gallery in Rosebank, Johannesburg, during the month of April, 2016. The six winning decal designs are then displayed on 10 minibus taxis in different areas of the country for a period of six months.

Entrants for the competition must be South African citizens or legally resident in the country and older than 21. Entry forms for and information about the competition are available from, or email, or contact Lizamore & Associates on 011 880 8802.

Entries must be submitted digitally for the first round of selection. The deadline is 12 noon on February 15, 2016.