The road to unearthing the winner of the 13th edition of the Thapong Artist of the Year awards (TAYA) is on.
Submission date for the annual awards is slated for November 5th at 1700hrs. The winner of TAYA 2017 will be unveiled in the coming weeks. The annual awards are open to members of Thapong Visual Arts Centre from different arts disciplines including Young Artist, Photography, Print Making, Painting, Graphic Design, and Sculpture. Besides crowning the overall artist of the year, other winners are drawn from different art disciplines mentioned above. The Coordinator of the Centre, Reggie Bakwena disclosed in an interview with BG Style that this year the prize money for the overall Artist of the Year would likely increase from P35 000 to an undisclosed amount. The new prize money would be revealed at a later date. Like in previous years, a judge from outside the country is expected to join two local judges in picking the winners. Last year, Fine Arts Lecturer from the University of Vaal, Velaphi Manzhinye was the guest judge. “The visiting judge from outside the country would accompany the two local judges,” he says. He also says that a workshop that will give artists feedback from the judges’ point of view on their judging process would be held once the judging process is completed.
Following the 2016 judging session, two sessions where the judges as well as Dan Sibanda who is a Lecturer at the Molepolole College of Education gave artists feedback were held.
“The feedback is crucial as it gives artists an idea of mistakes that they made and which they can work on ahead of TAYA and members exhibitions,” says Bakwena. But before artists start making any plans about what they would do with the price money, he gave them a few pointers about what they need to work on before they submit their works for the awards. His word of advice is that they need to understand that whatever works they would come up with they should keep the international market in mind. He also says that artists should also remember to take heed of judges’ comments from previous competitions, in order to submit quality works of art. “The outside market is what we are targeting,” he says noting that this year they have a lot of interest from artists ahead of the competition.