Discovering and promoting South Africa’s artistic talent is at the very heart of Sasol New Signatures Art Competition. Being the longest running competition of its kind in South Africa, Sasol New Signatures has played a pivotal role over the years in unearthing local artists and promoting them to the art-loving public. This year’s competition intends to remain true to this legacy by looking for those hidden artists that want to break into the mainstream.
Held annually in partnership with the Association of Arts Pretoria, the competition is open to all South African artists who are 18 years and older, who have not yet held a solo exhibition. A solo exhibition entails a body of work of at least 20 works exhibited in a commercial gallery. Artists can submit their artworks in all artistic mediums – painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, performance art, video and installations.
As part of the competition, there will be Information Sessions taking place across the country from end-April. The purpose of these sessions is to educate emerging artists on how they can produce and submit winning work, thereby contributing to improving the quality of entries every year.
Durban | Monday 24 April 2017 at 11h00
Room C21 Ground Floor (next to the faculty office), Department of Fine Art and Jewellery Design, Durban University of Technology (City Campus), Anton Lembede Street, Durban
Tel: 031 373 6600
East London | Tuesday 25 April 2017 at 11h00
Ann Bryant Art Gallery, 5 St. Marks Road, Southernwood, East London
Tel: 043 722 4044
Bloemfontein | Wednesday 26 April 2017 at 14h00
Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein
Tel: 051 447 9709
Durbanville | Tuesday 2 May 2017 at 18h30
WHOW Studios, 2 Ixia Street, Durbanville, Cape Town
Tel: 021 976 6784
Johannesburg | Thursday 4 May 2017 at 11h00
Artist Proof Studio, the Bus Factory, No 3 Helen Joseph Street (formerly President Street), Newtown Cultural Precinct, Johannesburg
Tel: 011 492 1278
Pretoria | Tuesday 10 May 2017 at 14h00
Association of Arts Pretoria, 173 Mackie Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Pretoria
Tel: 012 346 3100
Limited seats are available so booking is essential for these sessions.
Bookings must be made through Nandi Hilliard on 012 346 3100, 083 288 5117 or
Furthermore, there will also be National Feedback Sessions at the various selection points countrywide. There, artists who’ve submitted their works will have the opportunity to find out from the judges why certain entries were accepted and others not. The intention is to assist aspiring artists to grow and guide them on how they can further better their art.
Contemporary, innovative and emerging artists wanting to “be discovered” are invited to submit their artworks at one of several collection points around the country between 10h00 and 16h00 on Thursday, 29 June 2017 and Friday, 30 June 2017.
The final round of judging where the winners are chosen takes place at the Pretoria Art Museum. Works are judged individually, based on the concept, use of material, quality of craftsmanship, and skill demonstrated. The Judges for 2017 are Dr Pieter Binsbergen (Chairman), Nelmarie du Preez (Overall winner 2015), Prof Raimi Gbadamosi (University of Pretoria), Cecile Loedolff (Sasol), Mary Sibande (Artist) and Gabriel Clark-Brown (Publisher and founder of South African Art Times)
The winner of the Sasol New Signatures Art Competition will be announced on 30 August 2017 at a gala event, after which the winning works will be displayed at the prestigious Pretoria Art Museum from Thursday 31 August 2017 to Sunday,8 October 2017. The winner will receive R100 000 and a solo exhibition at next year’s exhibition, with the runner up winning R25 000 and the five merit award winners receiving R10 000 each.
Zyma Amien, 2016 winner, will hold her first solo exhibition within the official exhibition later this year. “Artists who are working in a contemporary realm with current, cutting edge issues must consider entering this competition. The artwork is judged and not the colour, age or gender of the artist. The artwork should reflect the heartbeat of society. Due to the magnitude and the publicity that the Sasol competition generates; winning grants the artist the opportunity to highlight pertinent issues in public” said Amien.
For more information on the competition, artists can visit