Now in its 27th year, Absa L’Atelier continues to recognise and reward the skills, talent and imagination that exist in an extremely competitive and often challenging environment as well as presenting a unique opportunity to artists to showcase their talent and embark on new and exciting opportunities.
Once all the regional judging has taken place, 100 works from the pool of entries will be selected as finalists. The overall winner will be announced at a gala exhibition in Johannesburg on 18 July 2012.
During the month of March, competition entries will be exhibiting their work at various art galleries in regions around the country. The Port Elizabeth exhibition will take place at the NMMU North Campus (previously Port Elizabeth Technikon) on Gordham Avenue, off University Way, Summerstrand from 13 to 23 March. (Enquiries telephone 041 504 3256 or 041 504 3247).
This year’s theme is focused on “Art Chid”. Explains Dr Paul Bayliss, Absa’s Art and Museum Curator: “Creating art is like giving birth, as an artist you pour hours and love into growing your creation until it becomes more than smudges of paint or mounds of clay. You have an attachment, an affinity, a love for it. It’s a part of who you are… it’s like your child.”
This was the insight behind the campaign for the 2012 Absa L’Atelier Art Competition: a competition where one artist wins a six months residency at the world-renowned Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, courtesy of Absa. It’s an award that brims with possibilities for a promising artist’s career.
A runner-up prize, valued at R80 000, is awarded for the Most Promising Artist, with an income of less than R60 000 per annum. This prize comprises of a three-month sabbatical at the Cité, French language classes and nationwide touring exhibitions sponsored by the French Embassy, French Institute and the Alliance Française.
“Both top prizes include airfares and free access to galleries and museums in Paris, giving young artists the opportunity to develop their talents and gain exposure to the international art community,” concludes Dr Bayliss.