× art.co.za artists exhibitions training blog

Art Blog

Rivalry to Revelry: 2018 Art Competitions in South Africa

Posted on 11 January 2018

The "juried process" of art competitions is a necessary career step for emerging artists who want to be considered as a serious artists. Every year, art competitions around South Africa offer artists the opportunity to build and develop their artistic resume as well as win handy cash and other prizes. Art.co.za takes a look at what art competition opportunities are available in 2018.

Phatshoane Henney New Breed Art Competition

2017 Winner, Mandi-Anne Bezuidenhout's artwork titled First Stone: John 8:7 (2016)

A first-of-its-kind, the Free State visual arts competition aims to discover new and emerging Free State-based artists and showcasing contemporary art from the province.

Established in 2016 by Bloemfontein law firm, Phatshoane Henney Attorneys, the firm's passion for creativity and challenging the traditional has enabled differentiation from other law firms and allowed the firm to be recognized as a new breed of law firm.

Entries: 10 - 16 September 2018

For more information, visit www.phinc.co.za/art.

National Premier Craft Competition 2018

2017 winner Thami Kitty's range of intricately carved walking sticks. Photo courtesy of the Africa South Art Initiative

The inaugural National Premier Craft Competition in 2017 attracted almost 800 entries and organisers John Anthony Boerma and Jan Bhuda of Art Aid Africa are confident that even more crafters will seize the opportunity offered by the 2018 competition to showcase their creativity and skill.

Crafters have until 20 April 2018 to enter. They need simply take a photo of their entry ? next to a matchbox for size of scale, and either email it to crafts@innibos.co.za or send it to 071 621 3597 via MMS or WhatsApp. There is no entry fee. Remember to include your name, the town in which you live and your contact details.

Sixty entries will be shortlisted and these will form part of an exhibition to be held in Mbombela during the Innibos National Arts Festival from 24 - 30 June 2018.

The winner of the Platinum Award will receive R50 000, the Gold Award winner will pocket R20 000 and the Silver R15 000. There will also be merit awards for the Best Emerging Craftsmen, along with sound financial advice to grow their business. In addition, a Craft Retail Apprenticeship with Tourvest Destination Retail will be bestowed on one of the winners.

Entries in the disciplines of Ceramics, Beadwork, Wirework, Wood, Jewellery, Paper, Fabric Painting and Printing, Quilting, Leatherwork, Pewter, Glasswork, Embroidery and Mixed Media are invited.

For information, please contact Jan Bhuda on 083 719 1731 or e-mail John Anthony Boerma at artaid@lantic.net. Visist the Craft competition Facebook page.

Sasol New Signatures Art Competition

Lebohang Kganye with her 2017 winning work, Ke sale teng

An established feature on the art competition calendar, the Sasol New Signatures art competition gives emerging artists an opportunity to submit works that explores issues within society, new media and new modes of expression.

Artists who believe they have what it takes to make an impact in the industry are encouraged to submit one or two artworks at one of several collection points around the country. The competition is open to artists who are 18 and older and have not held a solo exhibition (a body of at least 20 works exhibited in a commercial gallery) except for academic purposes.

Closing date for entries: 3 July 2018

For more information, visit www.sasolsignatures.co.za or contact the Association of Arts Pretoria on 012 346 3100 or email artspta@mweb.co.za.

Ernest Cole Award

Daylin Paul, Winner of Ernest Cole Award 2017

The Ernest Cole Photographic Award was initiated under the auspices of the University of Cape Town, and offers a unique opportunity for photographers to complete an existing project. The award, named after documentary photographer Ernest Cole, has been made possible by the generous support of the Peter Brown, Gavin Relly Educational and Kirsh Family Trusts, ORMS, and the John Liebenberg Hip Op Fund.

The competition is open to anyone whose work focuses on South African society, with preference being given to people living within the country. The purpose of the award is to support the realisation of a significant body of work that the photographer has been engaged with.

Visit www.ernestcoleaward.uct.ac.za for submission guidelines and information.

L'Atelier Art Competition

Banele Khoza, Note Making, 2017 Gerard Sekoto Award Winner

The L'Atelier Art Competition - hosted in conjunction with the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA) - has become one of Africa's most prestigious art competitions.

It rewards young visual artists aged 21 to 35 with the opportunity to develop their talents abroad through highly coveted art residency prizes and a cash prize for the winners.

The competition is open to artists who are permanent residents of and residing in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Mauritius or Seychelles.

Registration for the competition opens online (artists can submit up to a maximum of three artworks), with works being physically delivered to collection points for initial adjudication.

Registration opens on 1 February 2018, entries can be uploaded from 1 March - 27 April 2018.

For more information, visit www.lateliercompetition.com.

Cassirer Welz Award

The 2018 Cassirer Welz Award, Richard Specs Ndimande

The Bag Factory Artists? Studios, in partnership with Strauss & Co. & the Everard Read Gallery, offer an emerging South African artist, in the field of drawing or painting, under the age of 35 the opportunity to spend a period of approximately 10 weeks at the Bag Factory's studios in Johannesburg.

Previous winners of the award include Blessing Ngobeni, Tshepo Mosopa ,Nompumelelo Ngoma, Asanda Kupa and many others.

The award will provide the recipient the opportunity to interact with the resident artists at the Bag Factory, exchange of ideas, mentorship and develop skills.

Upon completion of the award, the artist will present their newly created work in an exhibition at the Everard Read Gallery.

For more information, visit www.bagfactoryart.org.za

Thami Mnyele Fine Art Awards Competition

Muntu Vilakazi, Imvuselelo, Inkonzo, Uhambo, Photography, 2017 Winner

The annual art competition, one of South Africa's oldest national fine art awards, is open to artists of all ages and categories include multimedia and new media, painting, art on paper and sculpture.

Prizes include various cash prizes for each category as well as a mentorship programme solo exhibition offered by Lizamore & Associates presented to the most deserving merit award winner.

Entries can be submitted from 21 - 23 August 2018 at the Coen Scholtz Recreation Centre, Springs Art Gallery, Boksburg Library Auditorium and Katlehong Arts Centre.

For more information please contact the Visual Arts Curator at 011 999 4286 / 4474 / 8727 / 8726 or email: Tshidiso.Makhetha@ekurhuleni.gov.za / Thabo.Sekoaila@ekurhuleni.gov.za

PPC Imaginarium Awards

2016/2017 Overall Winner and Category Winner: Mziwoxolo Makalima ? Doubt-Queuing

The awards were established by PPC Ltd as a means to give emerging designers and artists the opportunity to showcase their talent and creative thinking by using Portland cement-based concrete as a primary base or material across the competition's six disciplines, namely, architecture, fashion, film, industrial design, jewellery and sculpture.

Physical submissions must be submitted between 1 - 12 March 2018. Regional judging for these categories takes place from 2 - 13 March 2018, where the judges will choose finalists for each category. These finalists will move onto the national judging phase of the competition, which is the final phase of the competition.

Film category entrants will need to hand in their final product on 23 March 2018.

The category runners-up, winners and the overall winner will be announced on 4 April 2018 (Sculpture, Jewellery, Fashion, Film and Industrial Design categories) at the PPC Imaginarium Awards gala event and exhibition opening, taking place at the UJ Art Gallery at the University of Johannesburg.

For more information, visit www.ppcimaginarium.co.za.

The Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Art Award

2017 First prize winner Paul Birchall

This popular and unique national art competition awards prize money to the value of R40 000.

As in previous years, the work of the finalists will be exhibited in the working wine cellar at the Bouchard Finlayson wine farm.

Entries must be submitted in a tondo (round) format with a maximum 60cms diameter, including mount or frame. A variety of media will be accepted including paper, canvas, board, perspex, fabric, embroidery, collage, mixed media, photography, digitally/mechanically produced and photo-based.

The deadline for entries is Friday 18 May 2018.

For more information, visit the Hermanus Fynarts website.

StateoftheART Gallery Award

The StateoftheART Gallery presents the inaugural StateoftheART Gallery Award. The competition seeks out the most promising and exciting new talent in South Africa and offering one up-and-coming artist a R10 000 cash prize and solo exhibition.

Unlike other competitions, there is no participation fee and entries will be assessed by local judges on a variety of criteria. The competition is open to artists who are permanent residents in South Africa and who are 18 years of age or older on 1 January 2018.

Online applications open from 1 February - 15 July 2018 on the StateoftheART Gallery website.

Fulcrum Suzanne Shaw Creative Award

Dineke van der Walt, the gallery manager at Lizamore & Associates in Johannesburg, winner of the 2018 Fulcrum Suzanne Shaw Creative Award.

The Fulcrum Group, in collaboration with The Bag Factory Artists' Studios and Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) present a curatorial mentorship award to celebrate the life of Suzanne Shaw, a valued team member of the Fulcrum Group, had an unwavering devotion to the visuals arts, with a special interest in the field of curatorship.

The winner receives mentorship from The Bag Factory Artists' Studios and BASA and funding towards the creation of a curated exhibition.

For more information, visit www.bagfactoryart.org.za

Like this post? Sign up and get curated South African art and news straight to your inbox


The Singing Rocks - Artist Jenna Burchell turns ancient rocks into songsmiths.

Three-dimensional insect sculptures by Retha Buitendach