art elite living africaYoung artists across Africa will participate in The L’Atelier art competition.The L’Atelier art competition is one of the longest-running and most prestigious visual arts competitions on the African continent

The event was established in South Africa 33 years ago and now includes the countries of Nigeria and Namibia bringing the total of African country participants to 12. The other participating countries include South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Zambia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mauritius, Seychelles and Mozambique.

L’Atelier gives young visual artists opportunities to develop their talents abroad and the competition is open to all professional and self-taught emerging artists aged 21 to 35.

This theme of the 2018 competition reflects the idea that the highly acclaimed L’Atelier gives African contemporary art, and the fresh young talent behind it, a platform to shine.

For the main winners, this includes a six-month art residency at the Cité internationale des arts in Paris, and a cash prize of $27,7000.

Similarly, the first Merit Award prize comprises a three-month art residency at the Bag Factory in South Africa; the second Merit Award, a two-month art residency at the Sylt Foundation, on the island of Sylt in Germany, and the third Merit Award, a one-month art residency with the Ampersand Foundation in New York, USA.

All Top 10 finalists in the competition are also placed on a two-day art professionalism course to assist them in managing their careers. 

Dr. Paul Bayliss, Absa Art and Museum Curator, says L’Atelier organisers and the entire adjudication panel are looking forward to seeing the works of artists from Namibia and Nigeria among this year’s entries.

“We are very excited to welcome Namibian and Nigerian artists on board, and to see them join so many other artists from across the African continent in taking up the opportunities presented to them through this competition. L’Atelier has played a significant role in the careers of many influential visual artists from Africa, particularly the winners, who have benefited from the exposure afforded to them through the residencies.”

“Since extending the competition to across the African continent, the response from young, up-and-coming artists has been incredible. This bears testament to the fact that emerging artists realise the immense value L’Atelier adds to their careers. It has been very encouraging to see Africa’s young artists making the most of the opportunities that are being created to support and help grow their careers. It’s important not only that artists take advantage of these opportunities, but that they put their best works forward when doing it,” says Bayliss.

To enter the 2018 competition, artists simply need to visit the L’Atelier website at LAtelierCompetition, click on the “enter L’Atelier 2018” button, and complete the required information. Registration opens on 1 February 2018, entries can be uploaded from 1 March 2018, and entries close on 27 April 2018.