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Friday, November 18, 2016


Deadline: July 13. 2017.

Following two highly successful Portrait Award competitions in 2013 and 2015, the Sanlam Portrait Award sponsored by Sanlam Private Wealth, in partnership with Durbanville’s Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, is again calling for South Africa’s finest contemporary artists to enter their masterpieces for a chance to win R100,000.

The award puts the spotlight on South Africa’s creative flare and gives a platform for the best of original portraiture to be showcased from August 25, 2017.

DaniĆ«l Kriel, CEO of Sanlam Private Wealth, says: “With the past two competitions we received one-of-a-kind works from talented artists and are excited to see what will be entered into the 2017 competition. South Africa is a hub of originality and talent; therefore we encourage more artists to enter. We are also seeing our client’s interest in art as an investment grow and look forward to showcasing a more diverse Top 40 Exhibition.”

The winning portrait together with the top 39 entries will tour the country as part of the Sanlam Portrait Award Top 40 Exhibition visiting Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth and more beautiful cities. An additional 60 works will be selected for exhibition at the Michaelis Galleries, at the University of Cape Town Hiddingh Hall campus in Orange Street. This means the top 100 portraits, as selected by the judges, will receive significant exposure and members of the public will have the opportunity to purchase the works on display.

The independent judging panel is made of acknowledged professionals in the fine arts from South Africa and the United Kingdom. To guarantee fairness each piece is judged anonymously as artists are not allowed to sign the work or reveal their identity in any other way in the work submitted.

“Seeing the standard of work received has been phenomenal to watch and has made curating an absolute pleasure. The judges take their time to deliberate over the winner and take care in choosing the Top 40 touring artworks – the success of which can be seen on the faces of the guests visiting the gallery. We’re eager to see what diversity and unique energy 2017 brings,” says Hamlin Jansen van Vuuren, curator at the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery.

The competition is open to artists aged 18 years and older who are permanently resident in South Africa. Portraits entered should be based on a sitting, or study from life, and the human figure must predominate. No sculptures, photographs and works created using software or other digital means will be eligible. All works will be judged anonymously by a panel of three independent judges convened by Stefan Hundt, head of the Sanlam Private Wealth art advisory service and curator of the Sanlam Art Collection. The Sanlam Portrait Award continues to attract hundreds of exceptional entries each year. In 2015, Cape Town artist John Pace walked off with the top prize for his portrait, entitled After The Match (100 x 80cm, oil on canvas).
For more information on the competition, entry forms and competition rules, visit

The closing date for entries is July 13, 2017.

The Rust-en-Vrede Gallery has once again arranged with Stuttaford Van Lines for drop-off points in all the main centres throughout South Africa where artists can bring their artworks to be wrapped and shipped to the gallery free of charge. The entry form contains exact contact details for each drop-off point.