Botswana artists called to enter annual Barclays L’Atelier Art Competion

After many Batswana responded and participated in this year’s Barclays L’Atelier Contemporary Annual Art Competition, the organizers once again invited artists from countries including Zambia, Ghana, Kenya and Botswana to enter Africa’s most prestigious art competition in 2016.

Barclays Art and Museum Curator Dr Paul Bayliss says this is the first time in the competition’s 30 year history that it was extended to include emerging artists outside South Africa, “it is a fantastic result. The first merit award with a residency in Johannesburg as its prize, for example, was awarded to Kweku Ampadu Appah from Ghana for his incredible mixed media piece, Worn-out Family.  We were very impressed with all the entries received from Batswana, Zambian, Ghanaian and Kenyan artists, and look forward to receiving the same caliber of work this year from these four countries’ best young artists,” he said.

After a massive response from Botswana this year, the competition extended to include the best upcoming artists from countries like Egypt, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Mauritius and Seychelles who had not participated in previous years.

Another new development of the art competition is the inclusion of a virtual exhibition of the top 100 works from artists across all participating countries, as adjudicated by the competition’s judging panel. The exhibition will be hosted on the Barclays L’Atelier website.  To enter, artists should visit and register for the 2016 Barclays L’Atelier. The website is open for registration from 1 January until 4 March 2016.

Once artists have successfully registered, they will be provided with a reference number. Artists must then complete an entry form for the competition, also available on the website, remembering to include their reference number, an artist’s statement for the work they are submitting and a clear visual of the art work. Artists also have to use the website to locate the nearest collection point in their country. Then, between 29 February 2016 and 4 March 2016, artists must deliver their artworks, with the reference number attached, to their closest collection point.

Barclays L’Atelier nurtures young talent and serves as a platform for young and emerging artists to make their mark in the African art arena.  Of particular significance to entering artists are the opportunities to attend a two-day art professionalism course in Johannesburg which will assist them in managing their art careers as viable businesses, and to be part of the Barclays L’Atelier mentorship programme, two sought-after privileges afforded to the top 10 L’Atelier finalists. The latter sees artists receiving personal mentoring from an established African contemporary in the visual arts field for a year. Over and above all this, the competition rewards the winning visual artists with once in a lifetime opportunities to develop their talents abroad among international artists from all around the world.