Thapong Artist of the Year Competition now on!

Sharon Mathala

The annual Thapong Artist of the Year Awards (TAYA) are once again upon us.

Now in its 14th year running, the initiative has created a much-needed platform for local artists to raise their profiles.

Each year, entrants are expected to submit three of their works for the judging panel. As is the norm, the categories for the award ceremonies –sponsored by the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture Development in conjunction with DTC – are Painting, Sculpture, Drawing, Photography, Design, Craft, Ceramics and Installation.

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There will also be awards for the Overall Artist of the Year as well as the Young Artist of the Year.

Speaking to Voice Entertainment, one of the TAYA organisers, the coordinator of Thapong Visual Arts Centre, Reginald Bakwena, explained that the juniors (under 18s) would battle it out for the BTC phonebook cover competition.

“The TAYA awards started from nowhere. It has grown in terms of funding and artworks produced. I am proud to have been part of the journey to see the pride in the artists faces throughout the years,” reflected Bakwena.

“I can tell you that after every assessment by judges we give feedback to the participating artists. This goes a long way as we have noted improvement in terms of artworks submitted each year.”

Bakwena also paid homage to the Award’s Exchange Programme, which he says sets TAYA apart from other ceremonies. The scheme sees the winners travelling to different countries to engage with other internationally recognised artists in their particular fields

“The Exchange Programme has become very popular and has proved very effective. It gives the winning artist an opportunity to travel abroad for inspiration and most of all to create a global network for the individual artists,” he highlighted.

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For the BTC phonebook cover, under the theme ‘BTC at 40’, the competition is open to all junior and senior secondary students.

The winning design is worth P50, 000 while the runner-up gets P25, 000 and the second runner-up P15, 000. The rest of the Top 10 will receive P2, 000.

The closing date has been set for November 3rd and the overall artist of the year is expected to walk away with a P45, 000 cash prize whilst the runner-up will receive P25, 000.

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