The 2014 Standard Bank Young Artists are…

WORDS Debbie Loots


The prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Awards for 2014 have been announced and the eight creative stars walked away, not only with prize money in their pockets, but also with a chance to cut their creative teeth at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

That’s not all! It’s full-on big birthday time in 2014 as 30 years of National Arts Festival sponsorship is celebrated while the Festival itself also commemorates 40 years of existence. Hence the caboodle of awards to the young artists.

“Quite often we have had to present a smaller, refined list of winners – this time we wanted a full slate, covering all the key genres celebrated by the National Arts Festival in anticipation of our double anniversary celebrations in 2014,” explains festival artistic director Ismail Mahomed.

These latest artist stars include, for the first time, two collaborative brothers as joint visual art winners, photographers Hasan and Husain Essop. The winner of the newly added performance art category is Donna Kukama while another relatively new award, film, went to Jahmil XT Qubeka. The rest of the laureates are Nicola Elliott for dance, Kyle Shepherd for jazz, Njabulo Madlala for music and Greg Homann for theatre.

All in all, 125 artists across all disciplines have been awarded for their shining talents since Standard Bank’s sponsorship inception in 1984. The likes of Janice Honeyman, Andrew Buckland, Helen Sebidi, Pieter Dirk Uys, Nicholas Hlobo and Nandipha Mntambo are previous winners, and are today synonymous with having achieved the highest accolades in their respective fields of artistic practice.

Who knows the heady heights awaiting our new rising stars – to infinity and beyond, we say!

The National Arts Festival is on from 3 to 13 July 2014 in Grahamstown, www.nationalartsfestival.co.za

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