Archive: Issue No. 28, December 1999

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Call for 2000 FNB Vita Art Prize and Business Day/BASA Awards nominations

The year is drawing to a close and nomination opportunities for some of next year's major arts and culture awards are hotting up. The 2000 FNB Vita Art Prize and 1999 Business Day/BASA Awards for business and the arts are offering the public at large the chance to nominate people for these awards.

Although the Vita requires no introduction to local arts and culture mongers, here are some vital statistics that so often get lost in the excitement and controversy surrounding any kind of award. The FNB Vita Art Prize is one aspect of a series of arts and culture awards sponsored by FNB. It is generally considered to showcase the cream of South African contemporary art and has not been without its fair share of squabbling. Held in conjunction with the Sandton Civic Gallery and loosely based on London's coveted Turner Prize, six artists will be chosen by a panel of judges as well as through the public votes, each of whom will receive R8000 towards producing work for a group exhibition to be held at the Sandton Civic Gallery, Johannesburg from July 25 - August 26, 2000. One overall winner will be chosen from these works to receive the grand prize totalling R30 000. Members of the public are invited to nominate any artist countrywide, whose work has been exhibited in a recognised gallery between January and December 1999. All you need to do is to complete the nomination form, available from all participating galleries as well as from the FNB Vita offices in Rosebank, and return postage paid to FNB Vita Awards. The closing date for public nominations is January 31st 2000. So get scribbling.
For further information or nomination forms, tel (011) 442 8435

For those companies who have demonstrated endless good faith in supporting the arts during 1999 (and there are so few of them out there), the Business Day and Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) are calling for entries for the 1999 awards for business in the arts. These awards relate to sponsorship made during the 1999 calendar year and include long-term or ongoing sponsorships current during that period. These companies are precious entities and need to be congratulated for their efforts, some which will hopefully rub off on their compatriots.

According to the official press release the awards, which highlight and acknowledge innovative and successful sponsorship of the arts by the business sector, are open to all companies sponsoring arts events, projects or organisations in South Africa and all companies sponsoring South African arts events abroad. The awards, now in their third year, purport to demonstrate the growing interest in arts sponsorship as an effective marketing or promotional vehicle and according to BASA, sponsorship spend is growing and becoming more focused for the business sector, bringing new money into the arts across a broad range of activities. This maybe so, but its not nearly enough. One way to encourage this would be an active promotion of awards like this with proactive involvement from anyone with an interest in arts and culture. Business support is really the only hope in the face of a cash-strapped and otherwise-preoccupied government.

The awards categories encompass sponsorship trends, and include:

  • Best use of a commission of new art
  • First time sponsor
  • Long term development
  • Strategic sponsorship
  • Increasing access to the arts
  • International sponsorship
  • Single project
  • Sponsorship by a small business
  • Sponsorship in kind
  • Youth sponsorship
  • The Chairman's Premier award for sustained excellence in sponsorship of the arts (made at the Chairman's discretion)

The judging process, carried out by a group of professionals from both sectors, is rigorous. The success in each sponsorship is evaluated according to achieved objectives, genuine and sustained benefits to organisations and community as well as the innovative nature of the sponsorship. Sponsorship in all disciplines is eligible for nomination and in the cased of shared sponsorship, all companies are eligible. The nomination/entry form may be completed by the sponsoring company and/or the arts organisation, except in the Strategic Sponsorship category which must be completed by the business itself. Sponsoring companies may enter projects in a maximum of two categories.

Contact Business and Arts South Africa for more information and nomination or entry forms at telephone (011) 784 9994/5, fax (011) 784 9996 or email The closing date for entries is 28th February 2000.

Philani throws a shopping party

Philani Flagship fabrics, cushions and T-shirts are on sale at outlets like Peter Visser interiors and the SA National Gallery shop, but you can shop at source at the Philani Flagship Shopping Party at the Crossroads studio on December 10 from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. Refreshments provided. For directions, phone Sarah or Jane at (021) 374 9160 between 9.30 a.m. and 2.30 p.m.

Call for Entries: 'September Song'
Soho MultiMedia Festival London, UK United Kingdom

Photography, image manipulation, movies and music come together in true celebration of modern creativity. The festival runs throughout September and October. London's Soho is buzzing with creative activity including exhibitions, video screenings and live music. Plans are being made for September Song 2000. If you have any ideas/proposals/projects that you would like to present for our consideration please get in touch. or or snail mail refocus NOW, Penthouse Suite, 175 Piccadilly, MAYFAIR, London, W1V 9DB

International Artists' Group Forming
International Artist's Group Vancouver, BC CA Canada

An International Artists Group is now in its formative phase. The purpose of the Group is to provide a universal outlet that offers supportive online help, opportunities for learning or swapping art ideas, positive feedback, and the possibility to arrange for various group exhibits. This is open internationally, for all visual artists, of any media, and any level, as well as beginners seeking assistance in learning. The requirement for joining is that you are a visual artist. Many groups today are run by non-artists, and dictatorship has often set in. There are hundreds of artists worldwide, who have little or no support for positive and honest feedback for their gift of creation. All artists who join are on the same level as the others, this is a 100% non-political group, where each member is as important as the next. A regular message board will be set-up online, as well as a site to offer extra exposure for all members. There will be a newsletter to keep all members informed, and also weekly and possibly daily chat meetings will also be coordinated for members to bounce ideas and issues off other members. Any artist interested in joining, electronic registration forms are available. Please email Barb Niles at: to request information.

R2k project

Aardvark Studios (founded 1992) and the Garland Artist Group (founded 1994) invites artists world-wide to participate in the Renaissance 2000 (R2k) Project. Art in all media will be incorporated into the Renaissance 2000 Project, and although we do not have any means to output digital files, digital prints can be accepted. Participation is free, there are no restrictions on content and no age limits apply. No art will be sold and none will be returned. Documentation will, however, be sent to all participants.

Maximum size: 30cm x 30cm.
Deadline: December 31, 1999
See the R2k Project on-line at

To participate, send art to:
R2k Project
Aardvark Studios
PO Box 542913
Texas 75354-2913

David Alvey, curator

Postcard Deadline Extended

The deadline date for sending postcard sized artworks to the Durban Art Gallery for Post-It has been extended to the end of November. So far, the gallery has received about 200 cards - some from as far afield as the United States. All the work will be auctioned for the acquisition budget of the Durban Art Gallery, and will be on view in the Gallery from 1-15th December preceding the auction.
Further details from

Voting for the Vita Art Prize 2000

FNB Vita and the Sandton Civic Gallery are proud to announce the Vita Art Prize 2000 for contemporary art. The competition, which culminates in an exhibition of works by selected artists, aims to promote interest in and provoke debate around South African contemporary art. The award qualification period runs from January to December each year. Members of the public are once again invited to nominate artists whose work has been exhibited in a recognised gallery during the year by means of a nomination card which can be found at participating galleries and posted, faxed or e-mailed to the FNB Vita offices. A selection panel will draw up a shortlist, taking into consideration the public nominations, a maximum of six artists, who will be commissioned to produce work for a group exhibition at the Sandton Civic Gallery. An overall winner is selected and receives an award of up to R30 000. The closing date for public nominations for the FNB Vita Art Prize is 31 January 2000. For further details contact (011) 442 8435

Issued by FNB Vita Awards

Telephone: (011) 442 8435 Fax: (011) 442 8523

Call for Cultural Contributions, Urban Futures 2000 Conference

An international multi-disciplinary conference, hosted by the University of the Witwatersrand in collaboration with the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Council will be held from Monday July 10 - Friday July 14, 2000 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Urban Futures 2000 will focus on all aspects of city life, identifying key issues facing metropolitan structures in the new millennium. In addition to public lectures, panel discussions and round table debates, a whole tapestry of events, exhibitions, tours, theatrical performances, musical events and film screenings will form an integral part of the conference proceedings.

The city of Johannesburg constitutes an African urban space at the intersection of even and uneven development. The inner city attracts immigrants from across sub-Saharan Africa and massive informal settlements are growing on the urban periphery. The social, racial, spatial and administrative patterns of apartheid are being overlaid by urban dynamics characteristic of global economic development.

Situated at the cross-roads of south-south and north-south trajectories, Johannesburg is a focal point of global connections. Its experience speaks to Africa, to the cities of the south, to the urban world and to an urban future not yet known and not knowable or livable through analytical constructs or normative practices of the past.

The University of the Witwatersrand grew out of this young, energetic, culturally and racially diverse economic and industrialised hub of the Southern African region. Located in the Johannesburg inner city, it has been closely linked to the city's development, through scholarship and political and civic activism on a wide range of issues. As major players in city governance, the University and the Metropolitan Council are concerned to secure the city's prosperity. The conference seeks to bring together academics, politicians, decision-makers, practitioners, artists, social activists and all those interested in improving civic existence.

Urban Futures 2000 will take place in three venues: Wits University campus, the Johannesburg City Hall and the Newtown Cultural Precinct. Visual art contributions will be curated and exhibited at the university art galleries as well as at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, which will also be the venue for the opening mayoral dinner of the conference. Dramatic and musical performances will be staged in the Wits Theatre complex, the Johannesburg Civic Theatre and the Market Theatre precinct. Fringe events will take place at a number of venues around the city.

Contributions from all academic disciplines are invited. Urban administrators and policy makers, social activists, cultural groups, artists and performers are encouraged to participate. Contributions could take the form of academic papers, theatrical, musical or media performances, fine art, photographic or architectural exhibitions, etc. Experiences reflecting urban transformations, African cities and metropolitan areas of the developing world will be especially desirable. On the cultural front, we're interested in your submission whether it be a paper on inner city graffiti or a video about the life of a tomato hawker on Jeppe Street.

Although the conference will be unlikely to provide artists with funding for their projects, some exciting performance/exhibition spaces and good publicity will be made available to selected contributors.

Proposals of 150 - 200 words for academic papers on an artistic or cultural theme should be sent before December 15, 1999 by mail, fax or e-mail to:

The Conference Convenor
Lesley Stephenson
PO Box 32720
Private Bag 3
South Africa

Fax: 0027 11 339-7835

Proposals, consisting of a description of 150 - 200 words, for art works or other cultural events should be sent before December 15, 1999 by mail, fax or e-mail to:

Alex Dodd
PO Box 327
South Africa

Fax: 0027 11 403-2308

A dedicated publication of selected conference papers and events will be produced by Wits University Press.

Visit the website for more details

Amnesty International Mail Art Project

The Global Organization of Mail Artists (GOM@) is undertaking a project with Amnesty International. On the occasion of the world-wide campaign against death penalty organized by Amnesty International which will extend until halfway through the year 2000, the Tarragona branch of this organisation has taken the initiative to work jointly with the group GOM@.

Although in 1997 the Human Rights Commission of the UN passed a resolution to encourage countries which have not yet abolished the death penalty to consider doing so, Amnesty International feels it necessary to press the UN to be more forceful in this sense. At the same time, it will be requested to the countries which continue carrying out executions to suspend this practice. In addition, countries who have not yet ratified the treaties will be encouraged to and to abolish the death penalty in their constitutions.

After the exhibition in Tarragona, the works will be sent to Governments, Embassies, mass media and the headquarters of Amnesty International of those places in which the death penalty has not yet been abolished. In this sense, a system will be organized to allow visitors to the show to choose the place where they wish to send a certain work, contributing to its postage. For this reason, only 2 dimensional works of maximum size A4 (29,7cm. x 21cm.) should be submitted. Work in any media will be accepted, there will be no selection and all work received will be exhibited. Documentation will be sent to all participants.

The organisation reserves the right to reproduce the received works with the purpose of disclosing the campaign objectives, always referring to the author's name and not for commercial gain.

Send works, by March 15, 2000 to:
Amnesty International / AUMA
Apartado 256
43080 Tarragona

For more information you can contact Hans Braumüller Or Amnesty International




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