Absa L’Atelier

Absa L’Atelier,
Deadline: 31 May 2023

Courtesy of L’Atelier

Courtesy of L’Atelier

The Absa L’Atelier is one of the most prestigious art competitions in Africa, which aims to recognise and nurture young artistic talent across the continent. Since its inception in 1986, the competition has been a platform for emerging artists to showcase their creativity and gain exposure to the international art world. The competition plays a pivotal role in promoting art as a viable career path for young people in Africa.

The Absa L’Atelier is open to all young artists (21-40 years) who are legal residents of South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. The entry requirements for the competition are available on the competition’s website, which outlines the categories of art accepted and the submission process. The categories include painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, photography, and video art. The entries are judged based on their originality, technical proficiency, and relevance to contemporary African art.

One of the unique aspects of the competition is that it offers long-term development opportunities to the winners. The competition recognises that launching and managing a successful art career requires more than just a monetary prize. As such, the winners are offered a wide range of opportunities to help them build their network and collaborate in their art practice, while providing them with a unique platform that would best position them within the visual arts industry.

Given the Absa L’Atelier is open to artists from 12 countries across the African continent, four main prizes are offered. The main prize is awarded to a winning artist from three groups of four countries each. The prize is structured in a way that supports the artist in growing his/her brand, and in equipping the artist with the relevant skills needed to manage a successful long-term art career. The fourth prize, the Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award, is given to a South African entrant that continues to demonstrate growth in their art production.


  • Each artist is permitted a single entry.
  • The entry submission needs to be a portfolio of works consisting of a minimum of four, and a maximum of five different artworks.
  • Adjudication is done on the portfolio of work entered.
  • All entries must be submitted via the Absa L’Atelier online competition portal.
  • The Absa L’Atelier competition portal will open for uploading entries on 1 April 2023.
  • Entries close on 31 May 2023 at 16:00 (CAT).
  • No late submissions will be accepted.
  • Adjudication of each submitted entry is done via the online portal.
  • 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.
  • Any artist aged 21 to 40 years may enter the competition.
  • All previous entrants will be required to reregister on the portal.

Please click here for more information.