Cape Town, 22 February 2019: Sanlam and Rust-en-Vrede Gallery have announced a diverse panel of judges for the 2019 Sanlam Portrait Award, which celebrates and showcases the best original portrait artwork in South Africa. Convened by Stefan Hundt, curator of the Sanlam Art Collection, this year’s judging panel will consist of Charlotte Mullins, Dr Elfriede Dreyer and Pfunzo Sidogi. The closing date for entries is 31 May 2019 and the winner will be announced at an event to be held at Rust-en-Vrede Gallery on 23 August 2019.

“We are extremely pleased with the calibre of judges we have attracted,” says Hundt. “It is particularly pleasing that the panel comprises such experienced and knowledgeable individuals. We are comfortable that the judges’ views will be independent.”

Held in partnership with Durbanville’s Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, the Sanlam Portrait Award offers a monetary prize of R100 000. Entries must be submitted digitally at between 1 and 31 May. The first round of adjudication will take place from 31 May, and the second round from 29 July to 2 August.

UK-based Charlotte Mullins is an art critic, writer and broadcaster. She has written widely on contemporary art, architecture, design and art history for specialist art magazines, newspapers and exhibition catalogues since 1995. She has also written over 10 books, and is a regular guest on BBC arts programmes. She was a judge for the 2009 BP Portrait Award and has been a selector for several exhibitions. Charlotte studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art and Sotheby’s Institute in London and completed her PhD in nineteenth-century travel photography at the University of Sussex and National Maritime Museum.

Dr Elfriede Dreyer is a researcher, writer, academic, curator and artist. She has been working as a researcher and postgraduate supervisor at the University of South Africa since 2015. Elfriede has produced more than 53 publications, including exhibition catalogues, essays and peer-reviewed articles in international journals. As an art curator, she has presented more than 35 exhibitions at various prestigious galleries and museums, and she has exhibited her own work at various venues both in South Africa and abroad. Elfriede has obtained no less than seven degrees and diplomas: BA, BAFA, MAFA, DLitt et Phil, Int Dip Interactive Multimedia, UTLM and HED.

Pfunzo Sidogi is a lecturer in the Department of Fine and Applied Arts at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). He holds a Master’s Degree in Fine Art (cum laude) from TUT and is currently completing a PhD in Visual Arts at Stellenbosch University. He is a founding member of Ithuteng Art, a non-profit project that promotes quality arts education in select public schools in Pretoria. He is also Chair of the de arte journal editorial board, and serves on the councils of the South African Visual Arts Historians organisation and the Pretoria Arts Association.

For more information on the Sanlam Portrait Award and competition rules, visit