Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) recently announced the 12 successful applicants to it’s 2021 RMB Talent Unlocked career development programme.

RMB Talent Unlocked is a comprehensive support and guiding commitment from a brand known to revere and reward exceptional talent. RMB’s Talent Unlocked programme has extended across a diverse range of art platforms, enabling and showcasing local arts talent for the past two decades.

With women visual artists currently under-represented, it was decided to make them the focus of the 2021 programme. The participating artists are currently involved in a rigorous skills development and mentorship process, addressing professional practice and guiding the development of a comprehensive body of work. Artists also receive individual critique and feedback from established art mentors and peers, engaging them in in-depth coaching sessions on writing, career advancement, marketing, personal finance and sustainable business.

“The programme was developed by RMB to empower South African artists and raise their profile and prospects of prosperity,” says RMB Chief Marketing Officer Alison Badenhorst. “It naturally dovetails with our longstanding commitment to helping stimulate and support Africa’s vibrant and resourceful creative economy.”

Comments RMB’s arts and creative custodian Carolynne Waterhouse: “RMB Talent Unlocked is a measurable example of the art of business leveraging learnings into the business of art. The creative economy enhances society in many ways and in addition to being visually compelling, the visual arts play a decisive and positive role in social transformation. It provides us with welcome, unedited commentary on the spirit of our time, igniting much-needed debate and hopeful solutions.”

Just ahead of Women’s Day, a selection of the artists’ work will be displayed in a curated exhibition opening on 7 August at Everard Read CIRCA gallery in Johannesburg. Later in August a further selection of these works will be sold at auction on Strauss & Co.’s online platform. The following artists will be featured this year:

Nindya Bucktowar
Nombuso Dowelani
Aneesah Girie
Nicola Holgate
Claire Manicom
Selloane Moeti
Tayhe Munsamy
Nicky Newman
Lerato Nkosi
Tamara Osso
Kgaugelo Rakgwale
Michele Rolstone

Concludes Badenhorst: “Ultimately the programme goal is to enrich the artists both academically and financially. RMB endeavours to liberate diverse talent, and leverage resources to help this talent to do good business. We believe that RMB Talent Unlocked fully supports this intention.”

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