Souad Abd El Rasoul

Cape Town, South AfricaNorval Foundation and The Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF) today announced the names of 30 artists shortlisted as finalists for The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize (NSAAP) 2024, an annual award for contemporary artists from Africa and its diaspora.

A board of independent arts professionals – comprising curators, writers and academics who work closely with artists in their respective regions – nominated artists to enter the Prize; 375 entries were received and 30 finalists, representing 18 different nationalities, were then shortlisted by a panel of five world-class art specialists, namely: Ashraf Jamal – Writer and Researcher, ArtBankSA and University of Johannesburg; Heba El Kayal – Chief Curatorial Consultant, Norval Foundation; Marie-Ann Yemsi – independent Exhibition Curator and Contemporary Art Consultant; Ngaire Blankenberg – Founder and Director, Institute for Creative Repair; and Sean O’Toole – Writer, Editor and Curator.

Judge Marie-Ann Yemsi said of the prize: ” As a member of the jury since the first edition, it is with great satisfaction to see the growing appeal of NSAAP for artists from all over the continent and the diasporas. Selected by an ever-expanding network of expert nominators whose vision and expertise are decisive; this 2024 edition is rich and exciting, with artists from a wide range of horizons, and I’m proud of the significant presence of women artists. In my opinion, this third edition testifies to the very significant evolution of the prize, with a final selection of artists whose quality and originality of their work is intrinsically associated with a deep and lucid reflection on the world. Finally, I am delighted to note the decisive impact of NSAAP on the development of the careers of the first two
winners, and the very positive spin-offs for the finalists in terms of visibility, thanks to the group exhibition presented by the Norval Foundation.”

The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize celebrates the practices of leading contemporary artists and aims to benefit them by further increasing their exposure to an international audience. We are delighted to announce that this year The Grand Prize cash award has been increased to US$35,000; this is granted to the artist selected by the panel of judges, together with a solo exhibition at Norval Foundation in Cape Town.

The shortlisted artworks will be presented to the public in a Finalists Exhibition at Norval Foundation from 14 February – 15 May 2024. Here visitors will be invited to vote for their favourite artist and together with online votes, the most popular artist will be awarded the Public Vote Prize of US$2,000.

The Prize aims to raise significant funds for the shortlisted artists and for Norval Foundation’s Learning Centre in an equal split through an online auction hosted by Sotheby’s (13 – 20 February). There will be an auction launch and exhibition opening on 13 February, at which the Grand Prize Winner will be announced.

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