Big opportunity for emerging artists

Galerie Noko director Usen Obot
Galerie Noko director Usen Obot
Image: Brian Witbooi

Emerging artists have been invited to submit entries for the 2020 New Now Next Emerging Artists competition.

The competition, presented by Galerie Noko and The Community Activist Atelier in association with the Visual Arts Network of SA, aims to provide an alternative platform, cultural and artistic development opportunities as well as showcase exciting new talent in contemporary arts.

An exhibition of selected artworks will open on November 15 at Galerie Noko in Russell Road, Richmond Hill.

The New Now Next competition started in 2009 as a locally implemented Nelson Mandela Bay project that provided platforms for exhibitions and workshops for emerging underserved artists from diverse backgrounds.

Galerie Noko director Usen Obot said that since inception the project had helped launch and facilitate processes for the development of the careers of 26 emerging artists in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Over the years, it has grown to a national competition.

The expanded art competition is based in the Eastern Cape and focuses on artists between the ages of 18 and 35 nationwide.

Additionally, the initiative will offer education through workshops, mentoring programmes, residency programmes and high-profile exhibitions to participating artists.

The 2020 development workshop will be held on September 15 and the professional practice workshop starts on November 26.

From the exhibiting artists, an adjudicating panel will select three winners who will each receive a two-month fully funded artist residency at the Community Activist Atelier Residency in Port Elizabeth, mentoring and a three-person exhibition in 2021.

First prize winner will earn R30,000 in cash, second place wins R15,000 and the third prize is R5,000.

The cash prizes are for the procurement of art materials to further the winning artists’ careers.

The Community Activist Residency is designed to compete with the best in the world.

It offers fully funded residency programmes that accommodate three artists-in-residence per year — one international, one national and one from the Eastern Cape.

It houses artists’ studios, library and communication lounges, a recreational garden, a fully equipped modern kitchen and other facilities.

“Besides the creation and development of new works by these artists, the artist-in-residence programme includes a robust project of adoption and engagement with the local community and schools,” Obot said.

“The works submitted for the competition are envisaged to present windows into the visual culture and take us through a journey of diverse thoughts, paradigms and SA’s multicultural society.”

Artists have until November 5 to submit exhibition- ready artworks to Galerie Noko.

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