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Cape Town, 22 February 2013: Sanlam Private Investments (SPI) has announced a diverse panel of judges for the inaugural SPI National Portrait Award. The award was launched to celebrate and showcase the best of original portraiture in South Africa.

The panel is made up of Hayden Proud (curator for painting and sculpture at the Iziko South African National Gallery), Vulendlela Nyoni (lecturer in printmaking at the University of Stellenbosch) and Judith Mason (veteran celebrated artist). Entries close on 19 August 2013 and the winner will be announced on 27 August.

Stefan Hundt, head of Sanlam Private Investments’ Art Advisory Service and convenor of the panel, says the robust conversation sparked by the Kate Middleton portrait recently has strongly highlighted the important place portraiture holds in the contemporary art world. “The award has already attracted significant interest in the South African art space and we are extremely pleased with the calibre of judges we have attracted.”

He said Hayden Proud is an accomplished portraitist himself whose views as an art historian, curator and experienced painter will be invaluable. “Judith Mason, an internationally celebrated mixed medium artist, has long been a highly respected, influential player in the art world. She brings with her an artist’s point of view. Printmaker and University of Stellenbosch lecturer, Vulendlela Nyoni is a young artist who has made his mark in the contemporary art world and will bring a youthful perspective to judging the works entered.”

Hundt said it was particularly pleasing that the panel comprised such diverse, experienced and knowledgeable individuals. “We are also completely comfortable that the judge’s views will be independent.”

The first winner of the SPI National Portrait Award will receive a monetary prize of R100,000. The award is offered in association with the Rust-end-Vrede Gallery and is open to anyone resident in South Africa older than 21 years. Entries should be received by 19 August 2013. The award ceremony will take place on 27 August 2013 at the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, Durbanville, where the selected works will be on exhibition and open for public viewing from 28 August 2013 until 8 October 2013.

For more information visit: spiportraitaward.co.za/

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