Entries are invited for the 2019 Sanlam Portrait Award, which celebrates and showcases the best original portrait artwork in South Africa. Sponsored by Sanlam Private Wealth, in partnership with Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, the award offers a significant monetary prize of R100 000. The closing date for entries is 31 May 2019.

Last year’s Sanlam Portrait Award attracted a staggering 1 438 entries. Cape Town artist Kate Arthur walked off with the top prize for her portrait entitled Genna & Felix (79.5 x 119.5cm, oil on canvas). Another entry by the same artist also made it into the top five portraits – her work entitled Kwena (100 x 65.5cm, oil on canvas).

The competition is open to artists of 18 years and older who are permanently resident in South Africa. All works will be judged anonymously by a panel of independent judges, to be convened by Stefan Hundt, curator of the Sanlam Art Collection.

In contrast to previous years, entries for the first round of adjudication must be submitted digitally on www.rust-en-vrede.com. Postal entries will not be accepted. Entries can only be submitted from 1 to 31 May 2019 – no late entries will be accepted.

The 2019 Sanlam Portrait Award will be the fourth since the biennial competition was launched in 2013, when KwaZulu-Natal artist Heather Gourlay-Conyngham walked off with the top prize for her nude male portrait entitled A Young Man (177 x 80cm, oil on canvas). The 2015 winner was Cape Town artist John Pace, for After the Match (100 x 80cm, oil on canvas).

Says Hundt: “Sanlam Private Wealth recognises that art is an important part of South Africa’s diverse culture and identity. The Sanlam Portrait Award provides the opportunity for established and aspiring artists to give expression to that identity.”

He adds that the outstanding quality and standard of the entries received in previous years’ competitions was testament to the range and depth of talent South Africa has to offer. “We are looking forward to seeing entries that push beyond the normal and accepted for the 2019 competition.”

For further information on the Sanlam Portrait Award and competition rules, visit www.rust-en-vrede.com.