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Thapong prepares artists for Artist of the Year Awards

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LAME MALEFHO

The Thapong Members Exhibition (TME) is one of the gallery’s activities carried out to prepare artists for the annual Thapong Artist of the Year Awards (TAYA), one of the most prestigious and most recognized in the local arts scene. TME is hosted twice a year in June and October. Deadline for submission of works is the 20th of June. According to the gallery coordinator, Reggie Bakwena, “Thapong Members Exhibition’s aim is to promote works of artists who are affiliated with the gallery. The exhibition somewhat offers them a platform to exhibit their works and have people critique and advise them on how best to improve.”

 
He further said; “I believe artists need that critique so they grow and learn, and that can only happen if they take this exhibition seriously and treat it as they would TAYA. Although there are no strict submission regulations, artists have been requested to submit three works of art. We do not have any judging at this exhibition, but is a fun and interactive show for the artists and key industry players.”

 
The exhibition is open to all categories and as a way to promote artists, the gallery will profile participating artists on their social media pages to give them advertising mileage. Frank De Paint, who handles online marketing, explained that, “Nowadays, the majority of people spend time online so we found it necessary to use social media platforms to market our artists and their work. Batswana actually do appreciate art, it’s just that art content is not readily available to them online hence the new development. Maybe people will attend exhibitions in large numbers if they know what to expect as we will also put up pictures.”

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