Absa L’Atelier launches anniversary celebrations

Absa L’Atelier art competition launches their 25th anniversary celebrations at this year’s Design Indaba.

The Absa L’Atelier art competition will launch their 25th anniversary celebrations at this year’s Design Indaba by showcasing the work of L’Atelier winners dating back 25 years, at the Cape Town International Conference Centre between 24 and 28 February 2010.

Absa are proud sponsors of the longest running national arts competition, the annual Absa L’Atelier, which focuses on the promotion of the visual arts. As a result, Absa has become the largest corporate sponsor of the visual arts in South Africa, and is able to lay claim to the largest corporate art collection in the Southern Hemisphere and the second largest in the world, with more than 20 000 works dating back from the 1900s to the present day.

The L’Atelier serves as a platform for young emerging artists to make their mark in the South African art arena. From the artists who enter the Absa L’Atelier art competition, quite a few are invited to exhibit their work at the Absa Gallery, where their participation in the exhibition is fully sponsored by Absa, meaning they do not pay an exhibition fee and Absa does not take a commission on any sold works.

Apart from winning cash prizes in the Absa L’Atelier competition, the top two artists have the opportunity to stay at the renowned Cité Internationale des Arts, the arts colony in the heart of Paris for a period of three to six months. This much sought-after prize allows the winners to develop their talent among international artists from all corners of the globe. The overall winner of the competition receives R110 000 in cash as well as a return ticket to Paris.

The second prize, namely the Gerard Sekoto prize worth R80 000 and sponsored by the Alliance Francaise, French Embassy and French Institute, is awarded to the most promising artist with an income of less than R60 000 per annum. The four merit award winners each receive R25 000, while all top 10 finalists receive a cash prize of R2 000.

The Absa L’Atelier art competition has been the launch pad for the careers of many South African artists who have become household names on the global stage.

Absa’s corporate mission is to be a partner in growing South Africa’s prosperity to the benefit of all. To Absa, prosperity means more than just economic wealth. The bank also believes in supporting the arts in order to contribute to the creative and intellectual prosperity of our nation.

The Absa Gallery host exhibitions every year to showcase the talent of emerging and established South African artists. The exhibitions and opening nights are sponsored by Absa so that the artists receive the full benefit from the sale of their works and therefore prices to the public are kept affordable.

Entries for Absa L’Atelier 2010 will open from 1 to 5 March 2010 and entry forms can be collected from the Absa Stand at the Design Indaba Expo, from 26 to 28 February.