Supplied | SA Taxi Foundation Art Award:

On 5 April 2017, the SA Taxi Foundation Art Award, now in its third year, announced the Award winner and top five category finalists at the launch of the Award exhibition, Lizamore & Associates Gallery, Rosebank, Johannesburg. Each of these artists won a cash prize along with the opportunity to have their work showcased on taxis on national routes for a period of six months.

The overall winner, Banele Khoza, was selected not just for excellence in his artwork and his design, but for his ability to carry his concept via both platforms fluidly. The five category finalists, Jabo Nkomo, Duma Mtimkulu, Mashudu Nevhutalu, Lebohang Kganye and Mpho Mokgadi were chosen on the same grounds, but according to the following categories:

  • Two dimensional artworks – won by Mashudu Nevhutalu (This includes drawing, painting, collage, photography any work whose final presentation is in a 2D format.)
  • Three dimensional works – won by Duma Mtimkulu (This includes work whose final presentation is in 3D format such as sculpture and installation. This could include a virtual 3D manifestation- i.e. sculpture, virtual reality, animation.)
  • Multiples won by Lebohang Kganye (This includes works whose production is editioned- traditional printmaking, photography, editioned sculpture etc.)
  • Mixed Media won by Jabo Nkomo (This includes works of any manifestation that include mixed media in its final presentation such as collage, found object works and works made up of several media and materials.)
  • Digital/Multimedia won by Mpho Mokgadi (This includes works whose final manifestation is digital in nature. This could include digital in process or digital in the final presentation.)

Artists were selected through a two-phase blind judging process, from more than 160 entries. The first phase, a digital selection to identify the top 50 entries that were brought to Johannesburg for the final judging, was headed by Director of VANSA (Visual Art Network of South Africa), Molemo Moiloa. Thereafter judges Maria McCloy, Rolihlahla Mhlanga and Gordon Froud selected the top thirty works as well as the five category finalists and overall Award winner. The judges focused on the combination of their artwork, decal design and conceptual narrative.  Says Froud about the finalists: “The thematic considerations showed the diversity of our country, with close to home topics like water shortages and other social and even political statements on the one hand and then to the fun, funky, youthful exuberance that spills out of the urban taxi environment”

This innovative award merges visual art, design and taxis. The award asks entrants to create an artwork in conversation with a brief, and then interpret this into a design for a decal that would wrap a minibus taxi. “This helps to promote local art value chains,” says the SA Taxi Foundation Director, Lishani Letchmiah. “And, because most minibus taxi commuters are posting pictures and comments about the vibrant works of art on the selected minibus taxis, the impact of the art reaches steadily deeper into society.”

Image: Banele Khoza, winner of the SA Taxi Foundation Art Award 2017