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Sunday, April 25, 2021


(RMB Think Precinct, Sandton)

Deadline for applications: April 30, 2021

Applications open for 2021 RMB Talent Unlocked programme

“Rand Merchant Bank values the recognition we have received for our support of the creative arts. Our goal is to help stimulate and support the creative economy.

“We believe that the arts play a critical role in our education and society,” says RMB creative counsel, Carolynne Waterhouse. “The arts enrich our lives and are vital to a vibrant economy. Those who are key to their creation should be assisted in whatever sustainable way possible.”

Unlocking talent

In keeping with this philosophy, applications for the annual RMB Talent Unlocked programme are open. This year, RMB Talent Unlocked gives women artists the opportunity to participate in a skills development and arts mentorship programme addressing professional practice and developing a comprehensive body of work. It includes individual critique and feedback from established art mentors and peers with the support and backing of RMB.

The programme will culminate in a curated exhibition at the Everard Read CIRCA Gallery in Johannesburg, leading up to Women’s Day in August 2021. A selection of works will be sold at auction on Strauss & Co’s online platform in August, providing international exposure and potential for sales.

“RMB’s purpose is ‘to liberate diverse talent to do good business for a better world’,” adds Waterhouse. “RMB Talent Unlocked supports this purpose fully.”


A renewed strategy

Part of our strategic direction to unlock talent has resulted in RMB’s withdrawal from the Turbine Art Fair. “We believe that RMB’s contribution to the visual arts in particular will be better spent focusing on projects such as RMB Talent Unlocked, where the benefits to the creative economy are more direct and measurable,” says Waterhouse.


RMB Talent Unlocked application detail

RMB Talent Unlocked is an intensive programme. Successful applicants must be dedicated, respectful of deadlines and motivated to learn the business of the arts, whilst enriching and strengthening their artistic practice.


-This call is open to all women artists 21 years or older.

-Applicants who work across a variety of mediums are encouraged to use innovative materials, as the selection committee will focus on a diversity of artworks, from painting to sculpture.

-The 2021 programme is only open to artists based in South Africa.

-Applicants are required to submit a PDF portfolio containing:

a) four to five works around a central theme/concept,

b) a short artist statement,

c) a motivation letter no more than 300 words,

d) a CV and biography.


Artists should have not participated in previous RMB Talent Unlocked initiatives.

Artists should not have had a solo show at a major gallery nor be represented by a gallery.

Artists should be available for a portfolio review towards the end of April 2021 via video call, where they will be expected to present their portfolio.

Artists must commit to attending all peer mentoring sessions and workshops online or in person in Johannesburg. Dates to be confirmed


All COVID-19 protocols will be observed.


The application must be titled: namesurname_talentunlocked2021 and be no more than 10MB

Applications must be sent to

Closing date for applications is April 30, 2021.

Successful applicants will be notified by May 3, 2021.


RMB Talent Unlocked represents a great opportunity for women artists to receive mentorship, have their work exhibited at a top gallery and listed on a global online auction in August 2021 – Women’s Month.


#RMBTalentUnlocked  / #RMBTalentUnlocked2021 #RMB