The L’Atelier Season, or that time of the year when young artists around South Africa vie for the coveted Absa L’Atelier Art Awards is approaching. Now in its 27th year, the 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. Endorsed by the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA), the Absa L’Atelier has become an essential landmark in the lives of young artists aged 21 – 35.
“For 2012 the call to action is Art Child. 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,” says Dr Paul Bayliss Absa Art and Museum Curator.
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 financial services group Absa. It’s an award that brims with possibility for a promising artist’s career.
A second prize of the value of R80 000, is awarded for the Most Promising Artist, with an income of less than R60 000 per annum, comprising 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.