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L'Atelier 2015 entries opens up to Africa
Released by by Barclays Africa | ABSA. Posted on December 9, 2014.

Bambo Sibiya, 2012 L'Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award winner (Courtesy of Absa)

South Africa's most prestigious art competition, L'Atelier, has for the first time its 30-year history invited young and emerging artists from Botswana, Zambia, Ghana and Kenya to enter the 2015 competition. “L’Atelier has had a significant impact in 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,” says Dr Paul Bayliss, Absa Art and Museum Curator.

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 – now one of the longest running events of its kind in Africa – 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.

Sponsored by Barclays Africa and hosted in conjunction with the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (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.

Diane Victor, The problem with being a god these days. Winner of L'Atelier 1988

All young artists aged 21 to 35 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 Internationale des Arts, sponsored by The Alliance Française, the French Institute and the French Embassy.

Online entries for the competition are open from 15 January 2015 until 6 March 2015. 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 2 - 6 March 2015. All entry points close at 16:00 on Friday, 6 March 2015 and no late entries will be accepted.

For more information, artists can phone 011 350 3003 or visit

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