Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winners for 2017 are announced
2016-10-27 00:00:00.0

Six of South Africa’s brightest young creative talents have been named as Standard Bank Young Artist Award winners for 2017. These recipients of the country's leading arts award, now in its 36th year, were announced by Standard Bank and the National Arts Festival in Johannesburg. 

They are Abel Selaocoe (music), Benjamin Jephta (jazz), Beth Diane Armstrong (visual art), Dineo Seshee Bopape (performance art), Monageng “Vice” Motshabi (theatre) and Thandazile Radebe (dance). 

They join a prestigious group of 150 Young Artist Award winners over a period of 36 years that reads like a Who’s Who of South Africa’s artistic talent and include many of the country’s most famous and accomplished creative achievers such as Sibongile Khumalo, William Kentridge, Pieter Dirk Uys, Mbongeni Ngema, Andrew Buckland and Johnny Clegg. 

Cellist Abel Selaocoe (24) explores the capacity of the cello across a plethora of genres, from collaborating with beatboxers to giving concerto performances and solo classical recitals. Bassist and composer Benjamin Jephta (24) has already made a name for himself as one of South Africa’s premier jazz double bass and electric bass players. He is involved in various original projects ranging from playing double bass in a free jazz orchestra to synth-bass in a pop band. 

Thirty-one-year-old Beth Diane Armstrong is regarded as a leading sculptress of her generation. For the last number of years she has worked predominantly on monumental artworks made of mild and stainless steel. Multimedia artist Dineo Seshee Bopape (35) uses experimental video montages, sound, found objects, photographs and sculptural installations in her work which has been shown in the US, the Netherlands and the 12th Biennale de Lyon. 

Playwright and director Monageng “Vice” Motshabi (33) has penned Echoes and Book of Rebellations (co-written with Kgafela oa Magogodi), both of which were nominated for Naledi Awards. He has directed numerous productions including Mogatapele, The Story I’m About To Tell and Sizwe Banzi is Dead.

The strong partnership between Standard Bank, which has sponsored the award since 1984, and the National Arts Festival has helped develop South Africa’s cultural treasury that reflects the country’s artistic past as well as serves to inspire new generations of artists, performers and musicians. 

Says Hazel Chimhandamba, Head of Group Sponsorships at Standard Bank: “Over the years the Standard Bank Young Artist Awards have grown in stature and continue to provide a wonderful platform and opportunity for the winning artists to bring their work to a national and international arena. It has created a rich legacy while providing role models for future generations to value, respect and aspire to whilst enriching and expanding the country’s cultural landscape.” 

National Arts Festival executive producer Ashraf Johaardien adds: “These awards are more than just an annual platform which culminate in the presentation of new work. It is a yearlong process during which key industry players come together specifically to identify and assess the creative output of emerging artists who show potential to make a meaningful contribution to arts and culture throughout their careers. The awards programme then significantly enhances their professional development by providing the necessary resources and space for them to showcase themselves and their work at South Africa's foremost arts festival. For me it's really about the important work of identifying and cultivating exceptional talent.” 

Winners from various artistic genres are selected by the National Arts Festival Committee, chaired by Brett Bailey. All decisions regarding winners are made jointly by the committee. The winners receive a cash incentive, and are given support to develop and premiere new works that will be featured on the Main Programme of the 2017 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, which will run from June 29 to July 9, 2017. 


NOTES TO EDITORS 

PREVIOUS WINNERS: • 1981 Richard E Grant, John Theodore, Jules van de Vijver • 1982 Janice Honeyman, Neil Rodger, Lindy Raizenberg • 1983 Paul Slabolepszy, Malcolm Payne, David Kosviner • 1984 Peter Schütz, Ken Leach; Standard Bank - 1820 Foundation 10th Anniversary Special Award: Lamar Crowson • 1985 Marion Arnold, Maishe Maponya, Sidwill Hartman • 1986 Andrew Buckland, Gavin Younge • 1987 William Kentridge, Hans Roosenschoon • 1988 Margaret Vorster, Mbongeni Ngema • 1989 Johnny Clegg, Marthinus Basson, Helen Sebidi, Gary Gordon; 1820 Foundation Special Award: Pieter-Dirk Uys • 1990 Robyn Orlin, Fée Halsted-Berning, Bonnie Ntshalintshali • 1991 Peter Ngwenya, Andries Botha, Darrell Roodt • 1992 Deon Opperman, Tommy Motswai, Raphael Vilakazi, Kevin Harris • 1993 Christopher Kindo, Sibongile Khumalo, Pippa Skotnes • 1994 Jerry Mofokeng, Sam Nhlengethwa, Michael Williams • 1995 Jane Alexander, Boyzie Cekwana, John Ledwaba, Abel Motsoadi • 1996 Lara Foot Newton, Trevor Makhoba, Vincent Mantsoe, Victor Masondo • 1997 Lien Botha, Geoffrey Hyland, Sibongile Mngoma; Standard Bank Special Award for vision, commitment and contribution: Alfred Hinkel • 1998 David Mudanalo Matamela, Debbie Rakusin, Bongani Ndodana, Nhlanhla Xaba, Aubrey Sekhabi • 1999 No awards made. • 2000 Zenzi Mbuli, Gloria Bosman, Alan Alborough • 2001 Tracey Human, Brett Bailey, Fikile Mvinjelwa, Walter Oltmann • 2002 Gregory Vuyani Moqoma, Sello Maake Ka Ncube, Prince Kupi, Brett Murray • 2003 Moya Michael, Yael Faber, Dumisani Phakathi, Angela Gilbert, Berni Searle • 2004 Kathryn Smith, Mncedisi Shabangu, Portia Lebohang Mashigo, Tutu Puoane, Moses Taiwa Molelekwa (posthumously) • 2005 Wim Botha, PJ Sabbagha, Andile Yenana, Mpumelelo Grootboom • 2006 Concord Nkabinde, Churchill Madikida, Hlengiwe Lushaba, Sylvaine Strike • 2007 Acty Tang, Bronwen Forbay, Shannon Mowday, Pieter Hugo, Akin Omotoso • 2008 Dada Masilo, Nontsikelelo ‘Lolo’ Veleko, Jaco Bouwer, Mark Fransman, Zanne Stapelberg • 2009 Thabo Rapoo, Kesivan Naidoo, Nicholas Hlobo, Jacques Imbrailo, Ntshieng Mokgoro • 2010 Mlu Zondi, Melanie Scholtz, Michael MacGarry, Samson Diamond, Janni Younge, Claire Angelique • 2011 Neil Coppen, Ben Schoeman, Nandipha Mntambo, Mamela Nyamza, Bokani Dyer • 2012 Kelebogile (Pearl) Boikanyo, Mikhael Subotzky, Princess Zinzi Mhlongo, Bailey Snyman, Afrika Mkhize • 2013 Fana Tshabalala, Runette Botha, Mary Sibande, Prince Lamla, Shane Cooper, Anthea Moys • 2014 Jahmil XT Qubeka, Nicola Elliott, Kyle Shepherd, Hasan & Husain Essop, Njabulo Madlala, Donna Kukama, Greg Homann • 2015 Nduduzo Makhathini, Christiaan Olwagen, Luyanda Sidiya, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Musa Ngqungwana, Athi Patra Ruga • 2016 Avigail Bushakevitz, Jade Bowers, Mohau Modisakeng, Siya Makuzeni, Themba Mbuli • 2017 Abel Salaocoe, Benjamin Jephta, Beth Diane Armstrong, Dineo Bopape Monageng “Vice” Motshabi, Thandazile Radebe 

ABOUT THE STANDARD BANK YOUNG ARTIST AWARDS The National Arts Festival established the Young Artist Awards in 1981 to acknowledge emerging young South African artists who demonstrate an outstanding artistic talent. These prestigious awards are presented annually to deserving artists in different disciplines – dance, jazz, music, theatre, visual art, performance art and film – affording them national exposure and acclaim. Standard Bank took over the sponsorship of the awards in 1984 and has presented Young Artist Awards in all the major arts disciplines over their 33-year sponsorship, as well as posthumous and special recognition awards. The winners feature on the Main Programme of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and receive financial support for their Festival participation, as well as a cash prize. 

ABOUT THE NATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL The National Arts Festival, now in its 43rd year, has grown to be one of the leading arts festivals in Southern Africa. Its objectives are to deliver excellence; encourage innovation and development in the arts by providing a platform for both established and emerging South African artists; create opportunities for collaboration with international artists; and build new audiences. ISSUED BY: Total Exposure 011 788 8725 Thando Nkosi thando@totalexposure.co.za
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