The 2022 competition is open for entries from 1 April to 31 May 2022. The Absa L’Atelier is a leading Pan-African art competition, which has been running for 36 years now. It is hosted annually by Absa in partnership with the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA).
Every year, dynamic, inspiring and young visual artists from across Africa are given the opportunity to develop their talents abroad through the Absa L’Atelier. Additionally, the competition offers them a platform to explore themes and contemporary issues that will bring their possibilities to life. The Absa L’Atelier focuses on how to support the artist in growing their brand, in teaching the relevant skills that would assist the them in building their careers, giving them the opportunities and necessary skills to build their network and collaborate in their art practice, while providing them with an unique platform that would best position them within the visual arts. It is not just about giving the artist’s a large amount of money, but instead, affording them with the relevant skillset to develop and thrive as artists in a forever changing world.
Format of the competition
• There are 12 countries that qualify to take part in the Absa L’Atelier art competition.
• The 12 countries are randomly divided into three groups of four countries each.
• Artists within each group compete against each other.
• There is no competition among the three groups – artists compete within each group only.
• Artists are required to submit one entry which consists of a portfolio of a minimum of four and a maximum of five artworks.
• Submission of less than four and more than five artworks will result in the artist’s immediate disqualification.
• Each group of four countries will have a different group of adjudicators.
• A single winner will be selected from each of the three groups of four countries – one winner from Group A, one winner from Group B, and one winner from Group C.
• Absa will then bring the entered artwork from each of the group winners to the Absa Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa.
• The abovementioned winning artworks will make up the final exhibition, along with the Gerard Sekoto Award winner.
• The winner of each group will be referred to as an Absa L’Atelier Ambassador.
Conditions of entry
• The Absa L’Atelier competition portal will open for uploading entries on 1 April 2022.
• Entries close on 31 May 2022 at 16:00 (CAT).
• Only artists who are citizens or have been granted permanent residency of South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Ghana, Botswana, Uganda, Mozambique, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Tanzania, Nigeria or Namibia and are currently residing in one of these countries, may enter the competition. The airfare to the Absa Gallery and the residency in France or South Africa forms part of the prize, and is only from the participating countries.
• Any artist aged 21 to 40 years may enter the competition.
• Artists are permitted one single entry.
• The entry submission needs to be a portfolio of artworks that comprises a minimum of four, and a maximum of five different artworks to make up the portfolio entry.
• Adjudication is done on the entry, which consists of the portfolio of artworks.
• All entries must be submitted via the online portal.
• No late submissions will be accepted.
• Adjudication is done via the online portal.
• Artists will be able to upload up to 10 (ten) images for each entry showcasing the portfolio of artworks.
• When registering online and uploading artwork, it is essential that all fields are completed. Failure to complete all fields will result in an entry being disqualified.
• All previous entrants will be required to reregister on the portal.
• All prize winners will be required to take up the prize (residency) as per the date mentioned in the entry details.
• Entries in any medium will be accepted, please find all the details here: