Seven Tanzanian visual artists from Nafasi Art Space of Dar es Salaam have secured qualification for the L’Atelia competition which has been slated to take place in South Africa, later this year.
Nafasi Art Space’s director, Rebecca Corey, revealed the seven artists presented their artworks to Tanzanian judges, who approved the former for the competition on May 9. Registration for the competition begun on February 20 and ended on April 28.
Corey said the artists’ works will be shipped to Johannesburg where they will be among 200 works that will be then narrowed down to the top 100.
The artists and the titles of the works that were selected by the panel to go on to the next round of judging in South Africa are Masoud Ibrahim (Freedom of Expression and Jobless), Thobias Minzi (Soldier Boy) and Washington Masanja (Controlled Table).
Felix Mkenda (Remote Control), Abdulla Omar (After Rain), Sebastian Mnijindo (The strength of the women) and George Angelus (Red Eyes) are also in the list.
“Recommendations of the Tanzanian judges will be sent to the lead curator and selection team in South Africa. The top 200 works will then be narrowed down to 100 works that will be exhibited in South Africa and put in the exhibition catalogue,” she said.
“The top 100 works will be displayed in the prestigious Absa gallery and also printed in the Barclay's L'Atelier catalogue for 2017. The prize winning artists will be selected from these 100 artworks.”
Corey disclosed she has yet to be notified of the date when the overall winners of the competition will be announced.
The top 10 finalists, the organizers said, will all be placed on a two-day art professionalism course to assist them in managing their careers. Each finalist will also be paired with a mentor who will work with them for a year.
This year’s L’atelier art competition, as revealed by organizers, has five prizes, namely the first prize, three merit award prizes and the Gerard Sekoto Award for the most promising artist.
The first prize and three Merit Award prizes, are open to all of the competition’s entrants, whilst the Gerard Sekoto Award, organizers disclosed, is for the most promising South African artist with an income of less than Rand 60 000 per year.
In the first prize, the overall winner will receive Rand 300 000, as well as a return flight ticket to Paris, France.
The prize money, as stipulated by the organizers, must be used for a study term of between three and six months in the studio apartment at the Cité Internationale des Arts, purchased specifically for this purpose. The money will be made available when the winner leaves for Paris and the date of residency is January to June 2018.
The artist is, after making his/her way back to either South Africa or other countries, required to present a solo exhibition at the Absa Gallery in Johannesburg, which must take place within a year of his/her return from the residency.
The artist, the organizers revealed, may not present a solo exhibition at another gallery during this period.
Three Merit Award prizes include the South African residency, the Sylt Foundation residency and the Ampersand Foundation residency.
The award consists of a return flight ticket to Paris, three months’ stay in the Cité Internationale des Arts, nationwide touring exhibitions and training in French.
The Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris residencies are made available by South Africa National Association for Visual Artists (SANAVA). The date of the residency is May to July 2018.