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2019 New Breed Art Competition: New project extensions open up local visual art scene
08 April 2019  | Magdel Louw
At the launch of the New Breed Art Competition 2019, budding artists were called on to join the “quiet renaissance happening in the Free State as more and more opportunities are opening up for visual artists in central South Africa.”

Karen Brusch, founder of the Free State Art Collective, spoke passionately about the New Breed Art Competition, presented by Phatshoane Henney Attorneys in association with Oliewenhuis Art Museum, being an established art competition on the annual South African arts calendar. “We are providing the platforms and all we need from you as artists is to be inspired, put in the work and present us with the best that you have got,” she implored.

This followed an announcement by Magdel Louw, Competition Coordinator, of New Breed Art Blocks as an extension of the ‘New Breed Art’ umbrella brand, which in its entirety aims to discover and support upcoming local artists, provide them with exposure and opportunities to grow their artistic careers as well as to earn an income from their art.

New Breed Art Blocks will be launched as a mass exhibition of 150 art blocks at the Vrystaat Arts Festival vrynge from 1-7 July, showcasing unique and quality original art by new breed Free State Artists, including winners and top artists from the New Breed Art Competition. Artists will be also producing additional art blocks live at the exhibition, offering the public an immersive experience of the artist and the process of artistic creation. “Here the public will also have the opportunity to purchase an original art block to start building their own unique art collection, as well as support our local artists,” she said.

Once the festival has ended, any remaining art blocks will also be for sale at www.newbreedart.co.za, after which the available collection will be restocked on a continual basis. “Participation in the New Breed Art Blocks project is, however, on invitation only. We therefore encourage artists to enter the New Breed Art Competition to get on our radar as the talented, upcoming local artists we are looking for to ensure the project’ success.”

Half of the proceeds from the sales will go towards the artists, while the other half will be ploughed back into the New Breed Art Competition, ensuring the continued growth and expansion of the competition.

Further expanding the art impact of the competition, the New Breed Art Competition will this year also sponsor the main Visual Arts prizes for both the Vrystaat Arts Festival’s main festival, and vrynge, Louw said.

Sam Moleko, director at Phatshoane Henney Attorneys and spokesperson for the competition, in turn revisited the invaluable mentorship, preparation and curatorial support as well as exposure the Winners Group Exhibition provides the winners of the New Breed Art Competition. “This year’s exhibition will take place in August 2019, affording the winners of last year’s competition the opportunity to showcase a broader body of their work. Brusch and Pauline Gutter, well-known artist, who were also part of last year’s judging panel, are mentoring the 2018 winners in the run-up to the exhibition, which includes personal visits to the artists’ studios,” he remarked.

The Winners Group Exhibition is offered on top of the R100 000 in prize money - with R50 000 to be awarded to the winner, R20 000 to the runner-up and R10 000 each to two Merit Award winners, as well as R10 000 to the Public Choice Award. The Public Choice Award, which allows the public to vote for their favourite artist on the official competition website (www.newbreedart.co.za) and thereby determine the winner thereof, increases the breadth of exposure the selected artists receive, even further.

Brusch finally appealed to the artists, when considering their entry, to produce art that is unique and out of the ordinary. “Speak of things that are true to you, and not what you think the judges may be interested in. We are all unique and complex beings, and you have your own voice. Be true to that. Remember, this is why we treasure our artists – you are our visionaries and the voice of the voiceless.”

Key competition dates

  • Submission of entries at Oliewenhuis Art Museum: 16-22 September 2019
  • Selected works exhibited at Oliewenhuis Art Museum: 17 October-24 November 2019
  • Selected works open for voting on website to determine Public Choice Award: 17 October-11 November 2019
  • Winners announced at formal prize-giving function: 14 November 2019
Entry form available at www.newbreedart.co.zaa