Vuleka, meaning "open" in Xhosa, is a competition initiative of the Arts Association in Bellville. It is held annually at the ArtB Gallery, a space administered and managed by the City of Cape Town's Directorate of Tourism, Events, and Marketing and Marketing.
photograph by Tiaan van Deventer
The award ceremony was held at the gallery last night and a series of oil paintings by Janice Rabie was selected as the best overall work. She is the recipient of the R20 000.00 cash prize, sponsored by artist Conrad Theys. Three merit prizes, sponsored by Ecozone, The Arts Association of Bellville and Art South Africa magazine were also awarded. Joe Dolby's diptych entitled The Laying Out, together with Marna Hattingh's acrylic works titled Everybody Loves Everyone and Navigators, received Merit Awards. Colleen Ross and Rae Goosen's collaborative piece titled Whose Art is it Anyway? received the third merit award.
Vuleka is aimed at inspiring creativity and artistic vision amongst emerging and established South African Artists. The competition is open to all artists who are South African citizens, 18 years or older who have not held a solo exhibition in the past three years.This prestigious event is an enormous stimulus for amateur artists and without a doubt the barometer for the future of art in our region.
The popularity of this competition is growing rapidly. This year, the competition drew close to 300 entries. A selection of 67 works is currently on exhibition at Art.b Gallery.
The winner, Janice Rabie, graduated from the Michaelis School for Fine Art in 1981 and is currently a practicing painter and ceramicist.
Rabie says this of her winning work: "The paintings start with a fascination for certain subjects. Because of the subject matter, the present work is situated at an interface between man and nature, an uneasy, confined and claustrophobic space, where the friction between these two is irreconcilable. The relationship is one of strife and struggle, there is no meeting point, and yet they can never be separated. Bringing these things together in the paintings questions their essence in the world today".
Three merit prizes, sponsored by Ecozone, The Arts Association of Bellville and Suzette Bell-Roberts were also awarded. Joe Dolby's diptych entitled The Laying Out, together with Marna Hattingh's acrylic works titled Everybody Loves Everyone and Navigators, received Merit Awards. Colleen Ross and Rae Goosen's collaborative piece titled Whose Art is it Anyway? received the third merit award.
Ten special commendation awards were also presented. The recipients of these awards are: Adriaan Alkema, Gill Cowen, Inge Dawn, Corlie de Kock, Jono Dry, Francesca Louw, Benjamin Mitchley, Patrick Nanjinje, Chris Ruthven and Mawande Zenzile
Art.b Gallery is pleased at the number of entries received and the high standard of current works on show, indicating that the Vuleka Art Competition has become nationally recognised as a respected platform for both emerging and established artists.
The works received are representative of a broad spectrum of cultures and mediums from the traditional to the innovative and conceptual. The 67 works selected for the exhibition reflect diverse styles, techniques and media. Works indicating an original concept, strong, individual expression and excellent technical execution are considered for the exhibition and awards.
This art competition forms part of the city's on-going attempts as part of its arts and culture strategy to nurture and grow local art and artists, by providing a platform to both showcase their talents and receive acknowledgement and feedback from a broader community in which they live. As part of the continuing commitment, the city will be expanding and growing its commitment in this and similar art projects.
Councillor Pascoe, Executive Councillor for Tourism, Events and Marketing, said "The portfolio is geared towards growing the diversity and opportunity of local artists to participate in as many platforms as possible. The city's primary focus has almost exclusively focused on music and major events in that genre, such as Cape Town International Jazz festival, Cape Town Carnival, all of which celebrates Cape Town's rich heritage in music. This is our first attempt to begin to redirect some of the energy towards highlighting and showcasing some of the other talents in the city".
The Art.b gallery is situated in Bellville Library Centre, Carel van Aswegen Street and is open Mondays to Thursdays 09.00 to 20.00, Fridays 09.00 to 18.00 and Saturdays 09.00 to 13.00.