With only a few days left before the Thapong Artists of the Year Awards, most competing for Botswana’s most coveted art award have gone into hibernation. They sit quietly with mixed emotions all hoping their submitted works will be recognized as the best and that their names will be called on the day of the Awards.
This year’s competition has bumped up the prize money and workshops were held prior to submissions to show artists what will be expected of them, making this year’s competition a tough one. One slip up on presentation or incomplete artwork could stand in the way of a 2014 TAYA Award.
Coordinator at the Arts Center Reginald Bakwena confirmed that for the 8 categories in this year’s competition, close to 95 artists participated and they were able to register and receive 150 artworks from the artists. “Ninety five artists submitted works in the different categories and some gave in about 2 or 3 in the same category or in two categories to try their luck. We are just happy with the standard in which the artworks came in. One can tell that the artists took the workshops we held for them seriously. As opposed to the past years, you can see a lot of maturity and commitment just from looking at the works,” said Bakwena.
He also went on to reveal that, of the artworks submitted, photography and paintings received more entries. “I am glad the category of photography is growing but my biggest concern was the sculptor category. We had less than 10 submissions so I guess that is a call to us as the center to start workshops in the coming year about sculptor making. There are 3 judges this year and they have immense experience in the arts and have the ability to interpret the works, all I can say is good luck to the artists.”
Each category’s overall winner will receive a cash prize of P4300 while the TAYA overall winner will receive P35000 and the second winner P17000.