Barclays Africa L’Atelier Arts Competition 2019 for Young African Artists (Fully-funded to Paris, France)

L’Atelier is one of Africa’s most prestigious art competitions. It rewards young visual artists aged 21 to 35 with the opportunity to develop their talents abroad. A look through the list of previous winners will testify to this.

Application Deadline: 31st May 2019 at 16:00 (CAT)

Eligible Countries: As per the draw held on the 4th of April 2019, the countries competing against one another in Group A, B and C are as follows
Pool A Countries

South Africa

Pool B Countries


Pool C Countries


About the Award: Building on the platform created over the past two years, the competition is continuing to expand across Africa, opening in a number of countries, where Barclays Africa has a presence.

The L’Atelier competition sets the stage for approximately 100 young artists each year to promote their work by exhibiting at the Absa Gallery, in Johannesburg, South Africa, and having their work documented in a sought-after catalogue.

Type: Contest


Artists who are permanent residents of and residing in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Namibia, Mozambique, Mauritius or Seychelles are invited to enter.
Interested candidates are required to read the Terms and Conditions for further details on their eligibility.

Selection Criteria: The criteria for the adjudication both at the regional and national levels revolves around matters of technical execution, conceptual and thematic engagement, freshness of artistic vision within the context of African contemporary art and finally – and probably the most difficult element – aesthetic appeal.

Selection: Initial adjudication is done on electronic submission where you may upload up to seven (7) images of your artwork. Those artists whose entries make it in through to the next round will be contact directly to arrange for the collection of their artwork. It is essential when registering online and uploading your artwork that all fields are completed. Failure not to complete all fields will result in your entry been disqualified. Please note that all previous entrants will be required to re-register.

Value of Award: There are four prizes for the 2019 competition: the main prize for the winner of each Group; and the Gerard Sekoto Award for a South African entrant that continues to demonstrate growth in their art production.

First Prize: The Ambassadors from each of the three Groups receive:

A one-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris
A two-month residency in South Africa

While taking up their two-month residency in South Africa, the artists will enjoy a weekly art masterclass

A monthly stipend during their three-month residency
Coverage of all flights, travel-associated costs, and accommodation

All three Absa L’Atelier Ambassadors will take up their residency at the same time
While taking up their South African residency, artists will work together towards a group exhibition consisting of both individual and collaborative artworks

The exhibition will be documented in a printed catalogue
Their group exhibition will open in the Absa Gallery within a year after taking up their residency and will then travel to each artist’s respective countries

All entrants are eligible for this prize
The date of residency is March to May 2020

Gerard Sekoto Award

3 Months in Paris:

The Alliance Française, the Institut Français d’Afrique du Sud and the French Embassy are sponsoring the Gerard Sekoto Award for the most promising South African entrant in the Absa L’Atelier aged 25 to 35.

This prize consists of a return flight ticket to Paris, a three-months stay in the Cité Internationale des Arts, nationwide touring of exhibitions in France, Institut Français d’Afrique du Sud French language lessons.

The Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris residencies are made available by SANAVA. The period of Gerard Sekoto Award residency is from April to June 2020.

How to Apply: Interested applicants must go through the Program Webpage (see Link below) for application information BEFORE APPLYING.


Visit the Program Webpage for Details

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