Absa L’atelier Art Competition for African Visual Artists

Absa L’atelier Art Competition for African Visual Artists

Applications are now open for the 2024 Absa L’Atelier art competition. The Absa L’Atelier art competition is a leading Pan-African art competition. The competition, which has been running for 37 years this year, is hosted annually by Absa in partnership with the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA).

Competition Format

  • There are 12 countries that qualify to take part in the Absa L’Atelier.

  • Post the receiving of entries, the 12 countries are randomly divided into three groups of four countries each.Artists within each group compete against each other.

  • There is no competition among the three groups – artists compete within each group only.

  • Artists are required to submit one entry which consists of a portfolio of work of a minimum of four and a maximum of five artworks.

  • Submission of less than four and more than five artworks will result in the artist’s immediate disqualification.

  • Each group of four countries will have a different group of adjudicators.

  • A single winner will be selected from each of the three groups of four countries – one winner from Group A, one winner from Group B, and one winner from Group C.

  • Absa will have the right to exhibit artwork from each of the group winners post the announcement of the winners.

  • The winner of each group will be referred to as an Absa L’Atelier Ambassador.

    The prizes

    There are four prizes for the competition:

  • The main prize for the winner of each Group; and

  • The Absa Latelier Gerard Sekoto Award for a South African entrant that continues to demonstrate growth in their art production.

    Main prize

    The winner from each of the three groups will receive the following:

  • The Ambassadors to take up their prize concurrently.

  • Each Ambassador to be provided with a new laptop or equivalent with Windows and MS Office Package.
    Ambassadors attend ten online 120-minute Masterclasses over a three-month period with leading global authorities.

  • MC1: Mental wellness

  • MC2: Financial wellness

  • MC3: Legal wellbeing

  • MC4: Conflict Resolution

  • MC5: Developing your career as an artist and brand

  • MC6: Media training and presence.

  • MC7: Building and managing an art portfolio

  • MC8: Fundraising and proposal writing

  • MC9: Art professionalism

  • MC10: Artist residencies

  • The Ambassadors are paired with a local leading authority from their respective country within the visual arts who will mentor them over a four-month period.

  • The subsequent year to been awarded the prize, the three Ambassadors concurrently attend a two-month international residency (i.e., if winning in 2024, they will take up the residency in 2025).
    This residency will take place in one of the 12 Absa countries in Africa.

  • The residency would not be in one of the Ambassadors winning countries.

  • While on residency the Ambassadors will attend online Masterclasses, have at least four mentoring sessions with their mentor (one session bi-weekly) and be exposed to the countries art scene.

  • Two of the Masterclasses (Mental Wellness and Artist Residency), in preparation for the residency, will take place prior to the Ambassadors taking up their residency.

  • Each Ambassador has an option for a solo exhibition within two years of winning the Award (i.e. if winning in 2024, they will take up the exhibition in 2026). The exhibition with either take place in the artist’s home country, at the Absa Gallery, or an alternative venue as decided upon by Absa and its partners. The Ambassador attends the opening and is awarded up to R100,000 for material costs towards the exhibition. All artworks would be available for sale with all proceeds thereof going to the artist. The masterclass, mentoring and collaborative exhibition to take place in 2025.

    How to Apply

    For more information and job application details, see; Absa L’atelier Art Competition for African Visual Artists

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