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L'Atelier Competition 2019: Registration now open until 31 May

 2019 Absa latelier competition

L'Atelier Competition 2018: registration now open!




The Absa L'Atelier art competition is one of Africa's most prestigious art competitions, and 2019 sees the 34th iteration of the competition. The Absa L'Atelier art competition rewards young visual artists, aged 21 to 40, with the opportunity to develop their talents abroad. This is clearly evidenced by the previous winners and the benefits and experience they attained by participating.

Artists who are citizens and permanent residents of Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, the Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia and who reside in the above countries, are eligible to participate in the Absa L'Atelier art competition and are hereby invited to enter.

The L'Atelier art competition is run in conjunction with our partner, the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA).



Artists are permitted one single entry
This entry submission needs to be a portfolio of artworks
The entry submission should consist of a minimum of four, and a maximum of five different artworks making up their portfolio entry
Adjudication is done on the entry which consists of the portfolio of artworks
All entries must be submitted through the online portal
The portal opens for uploading of entries on the Absa L'Atelier website on 4 April 2019
All entries close on 31 May 2019 at 16:00 (CAT)
No late submissions will be accepted
Adjudication is done through the online portal
A total of ten (10) images may be uploaded showcasing the artist's entry
It is essential when registering online and uploading your artwork that all fields are completed. Failure to complete all fields will result in your entry been disqualified
Any artist aged 21 to 40 years of age may enter the competition
All previous entrants will be required to re-register on the portal



Absa Group Limited

South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA)

Alliance Française in South Africa
French Embassy in South Africa
Institut Français Afrique du Sud



There are 12 countries that form part of the 2019 Absa L'Atelier. The 12 countries are randomly divided into three groups of four countries each. Artists within each group compete against each other. There is no competition between the three groups – artists compete within each group only. The winner of each group will be referred to as the Absa L'Atelier Ambassador.

The artist is required to submit one entry which consists of a portfolio of a minimum four and a maximum of five artworks. Submission of less than four and more than five artworks will result in the artist's immediate disqualification. Each group of four countries have a different set of adjudicators.

A single winner will be selected from each group of four countries (i.e. one winner from Group A, one winner from Group B, one winner from Group C). Absa will then bring to the Absa Gallery in Johannesburg the winners entered artwork from each Group. The abovementioned winning artworks will make up the final exhibition with the Gerard Sekoto winner.

There are four prizes for the 2019 competition: the main prize for the winner of each Group; and the Gerard Sekoto Award for a South African entrant that continues to demonstrate growth in their art production.



The Ambassadors from each of the three Groups receive:

A one-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris
A two-month residency in South Africa
While taking up their two-month residency in South Africa, the artists will enjoy a weekly art masterclass
A monthly stipend during their three-month residency
Coverage of all flights, travel-associated costs, and accommodation
All three Absa L'Atelier Ambassadors will take up their residency at the same time
While taking up their South African residency, artists will work together towards a group exhibition consisting of both individual and collaborative artworks
The exhibition will be documented in a printed catalogue
Their group exhibition will open in the Absa Gallery within a year after taking up their residency and will then travel to each artist's respective countries
All entrants are eligible for this prize
The date of residency is March to May 2020


A three-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris

The Alliance Française, the Institut Français d'Afrique du Sud and the French Embassy are sponsoring the Gerard Sekoto Award for the most promising South African entrant in the Absa L'Atelier aged 25 to 35.

This prize consists of a return flight ticket to Paris, a three-months stay in the Cité Internationale des Arts, nationwide touring of exhibitions in France, Institut Français d'Afrique du Sud French language lessons. The Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris residencies are made available by SANAVA. The period of Gerard Sekoto Award residency is from April to June 2020.


For more details you can contact Dr Paul Bayliss on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. For further information on SANAVA, visit www.sanava.co.za

For more details regarding the Gerard Sekoto award, you can contact the French Institute of South Africa This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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