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Indepth Arts News:

"Start: The Nivea Art Award"
2008-07-08 until 2008-08-02
KZNSA - KwaZulu Natal Society of Arts
Durban, , ZA South Africa

The START THE NIVEA ART AWARD exhibition, which opened 08 July and runs through 02 August 2008 at KZNSA Gallery, showcases for sale the final competition artworks of 24 up-and-coming art talents. From these 24 finalists, three winners will be selected and will be awarded cash prizes – 1st: R20 000, 2nd: R10 000, 3rd: R5000. The winner also receives a solo exhibition in the NIVEA Gallery the following year. This year 280 entries were received from throughout KwaZulu-Natal, an increased number of entries from the previous year. Artists entered the competition by submitting an art portfolio comprising no less than three photographs of their existing artworks. From these entries, the 24 finalists were selected by a prestigious panel of judges/art experts. Finalists are presented with a platform to showcase their talents in a professional gallery, receive exposure and the opportunity to win cash prizes. In addition, this year the finalists were partnered with professional local artists who became their mentors for the duration of the competition. The aim was for finalists to spend time planning and creating in the studio with an experienced artist and to receive advice, guidance and support throughout the process.

This year’s exhibition is all about beauty. The finalists were given R1 200 from Beiersdorf to each create a unique commissioned artwork in any medium that can hang on a wall, within 3 months, which reflects the theme, “Beauty Is…”. This theme ties in with NIVEA’s philosophy that beauty is, and means, something different for every individual. The works were also required to meet the size restrictions (no smaller than 1 metre and no bigger than 1.5 metres on any one side) and hanging restrictions.

Says Mitja Zupancic, Managing Director Beierdsorf South Africa, “START THE NIVEA ART AWARD has proven to have a positive influence on the careers of previous finalists and winners of the competition, serving to affirm, inspire and recognise these artists. START has further helped these artists to elevate their career in the arts, taking it to the next level, by opening the door to new opportunities and possibilities. We have also been pleased to see how START artists have themselves been teaching and mentoring other artists in their communities, thus helping others to generate an income from art. We are excited to see the stars that rise from this year’s talented group of finalists.”

Durban artist Bheki Khambule's piece "Beauty is Me" won Start, the Nivea Art Award. (detail of work shown)

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