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2021 marks a year of momentous milestones for the Bag Factory

In addition to celebrating the organisation’s 30th anniversary, the Bag Factory is proud to commemorate 10 years of the Cassirer Welz Award, presented annually in partnership with long-term sponsor Strauss&Co.

The award was founded in 2011 by the late Nobel Laureate, Nadine Gordimer in celebration of her husband Reinhold Cassirer’s love of the arts. It has grown into a prestigious visual art award known for locating and acknowledging excellence in emerging local artists. After Gordimer’s passing in 2014, Strauss&Co. pledged its continued support to the award — a partnership that has continued to this day.

After the passing of Stephan Welz the following year, the Reinhold Cassirer Award has renamed the Cassirer Welz Award as a fitting tribute to the two men who contributed so much to the South African art world.

Asanda Kupa, Inkululeko ingaphakathi, 2021. Courtesy of the Bag Factory Artists' Studio.Asanda Kupa, Inkululeko ingaphakathi, 2021. Courtesy of the Bag Factory Artists’ Studio.

Each year, one emerging South African artist under the age of 35, in the field of drawing or painting, is awarded the opportunity to spend 10 weeks in residence at the Bag Factory’s studios, culminating in the artist’s first solo exhibition of new work. Through the exchange of ideas, mentorship and skills development, the artist has an opportunity for substantial creative and professional growth.

In this 10-year retrospective exhibition of the Cassirer Welz Award, the Bag Factory showcases early and new work by previous winners Tshepo Masopa (2011), Blessing Ngobeni (2012), Asanda Kupa (2013), Thato Nhlapo (2014), Keneilwe Mokoena (2015), Nompumelelo Ngoma (2016), Richard ‘Specs’ Ndimande (2017), Olivia Botha (2018), Duduzile ‘Dudubloom’ More (2019) and Levy Pooe (2020).

The exhibition takes place at the Bag Factory’s pop-up space at the new Oxford Parks precinct in Dunkeld.

The exhibition will be on view from the 24th of July until the 12th of September 2021. It is made possible with support from BASA’s Supporting Grants Programme. The Bag Factory’s pop-up initiative is made possible with kind support from Oxford Parks and Intaprop Property Development and Investment.

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