2024 ABSA/SANAVA L’Atelier Art Competition for African Artists

Now in its 38th edition, the ABSA/SANAVA L’Atelier Art Competition is one of the most notable events in the African art scene. Absa hosts this event annually in collaboration with the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA).

The competition is set to provide a premier platform for emerging visual artists from across Africa to showcase their talents.

Beyond mere exhibition, this competition fosters a dynamic exploration of contemporary themes and issues. It not only provides artists with the opportunity to exhibit their work but also encourages them to delve deeper into the creative process. Past winners, now celebrated Ambassadors, underscore the competition’s pivotal role in launching careers and nurturing artistic development on a global scale.

ABSA/SANAVA L’Atelier Art Competition Details

Application DeadlineJune 16, 2024
Age Limit21 to 40 Years
AwardUp to R100,000
Funding TypePartially Funded

The Benefits of ABSA/SANAVA L’Atelier Art Competition

The ABSA/SANAVA L’Atelier Art Competition offers several separate prizes:

  1. Main Prize for Winners in Each Group
  2. Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award specifically for a South African entrant showcasing ongoing growth in their art production.

Main Prize Details

Each winner from the three groups will receive:

  • A new laptop will be awarded to each winner or equivalent with Windows and MS Office Package.
  • Attendance at ten online 120-minute Masterclasses over three months, covering topics such as:
  1. MC1: Mental wellness
  2. MC2: Financial management
  3. MC3: Legal Aspects
  4. MC4: Conflict Resolution
  5. MC5: Career Development
  6. MC6: Media Presence
  7. MC7: Art Portfolio Management
  8. MC8: Fundraising
  9. MC9: Art Professionalism.
  • Mentorship by a leading authority in the visual arts from their respective country over four months.
  • A two-month international residency in one of the 12 Absa countries in Africa the following year, with online Masterclasses, mentoring sessions, and exposure to the local art scene.
  • Option for a solo exhibition within two years. That means if you win the 2024 art competition, you will have up to 2024 to claim this award.
  • In addition, the ambassador will be awarded up to R100,000 for exhibition material costs, held either in the artist’s home country, at the Absa Gallery, or at another venue as decided by Absa and partners.
  • All artwork sales proceeds go to the artist.

Requirements for ABSA/SANAVA L’Atelier Art Competition

  • Age: Artists must be aged 21 to 40.
  • Citizenship: Must be citizens of one of the eligible countries.
  • Residency: Must be permanent residents currently residing in an eligible country.

Eligible Countries:

1. Botswana2. Kenya
3. Ghana4. Mauritius
5. Mozambique6. Namibia
7. Nigeria8. Seychelles
9. South Africa10. Tanzania
11. Uganda12. Zambia

Selection Process

Keep note of these points when applying for this opportunity/contest:


  • Single entry: You are only allowed to submit one entry.
  • Portfolio requirements: Your entry must include a portfolio of artworks (minimum of 4 & maximum of 5 artworks should be in your portfolio).
  • Adjudication based on portfolio: The judges will review the entire portfolio you submit, so make sure each piece is your best work.
  • Submission method: All entries must be submitted via the Absa L’Atelier online competition portal.
  • Submission start date: The competition portal will open for uploading entries on April 1, 2024.
  • Submission deadline: Entries close on June 16, 2024, at 16:00 (CAT). Late submissions will not be accepted.
  • Online adjudication: The judging process will be conducted through the online portal.
  • Complete all fields: When registering online and uploading your artwork, complete all fields. Failure to complete all fields will result in disqualification.
  • Age requirement: Any artist aged 21 to 40 years may enter the competition.
  • Previous entrants Registration: All previous entrants will be required to reregister on the portal.

How to Apply

To apply for the ABSA/SANAVA L’Atelier Art Competition, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the ABSA L’Atelier Application Portal: Head to L’atelier. Absa. Africa to access the application platform.
  2. Apply Online: Fill out the L’Atelier application form with your details and upload your artwork portfolio as per the competition requirements.
  3. Review and Submit: Double-check the information you provided to ensure accuracy, then submit your application.

For more information or questions about the competition, visit the Absa website or contact the organizers for assistance.

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