Namibian bank promotes local arts


Windhoek – It is an established fact that many artists across the globe, both professional and amateur, do not enjoy the luxury of showcasing their artworks in art competitions, which are essential platforms for them to launch successful careers.

But in Namibia, Bank Windhoek, in conjunction with the National Art Gallery of Namibia (NAGN), has made an effort to close this gap by promoting Namibian arts through its triennial competition, which has since grown into a popular event that challenges local artists to show their best efforts at professional level.

The Bank Windhoek Triennial Exhibition is a forum where Namibian artists can be part of an art exhibition that promotes excellence as an essential ingredient.

The competition is open to all artists with Namibian citizenship, domicile or permanent residence. Each artist may submit a maximum of three artworks, produced no earlier than 2012. During this year’s competition, the third successive event since 2008, 442 artists participated.

The NAGN invited submissions from artists across Namibia, and after a rigorous judging process, 174 pieces by 102 artists were selected for the exhibition. Out of these, 23 winners were selected in nine categories.

The categories included two-dimensional art (painting, drawing, print marking, collage and mixed media); three-dimensional art/sculpture (carving, construction, ceramic, assemblage and mixed media); new media (photography, digital/electronic/technical, computer generated, video, installation, conceptual and performance) and craft/design (textile, pottery, basketry, utensils, product development and jewellery).

The selected artworks have been on display at the National Art Gallery of Namibia at an exhibition that ended October 31, 2014.

The artworks were selected by a panel of experts in August 2014, which included five judges – Dr Napandulwe Shiweda, Samuel Sheyanena, Hercules Viljoen, Luness Mpunwa and Chikonzera Chazunguza.

“It seems as if the quality of artworks increased, this obviously makes the work of the judges harder, but at the same time it is a delight to see the innovative and creative artworks of the artists,” said Luness Mpunwa, the Senior Curator at the NAGN.

Visual artists, Elizabeth Modise and Findano Shikonda as well as David Linus were declared the main winners of this year’s Bank Windhoek Triennial Competition, at a prize-giving ceremony held in the capital on September 5.

Top winner in the craft/design category was Modise, who designed three beautifully woven baskets. Shikonda was awarded for most promising young artist and the award for overall best artwork. His drawings were inspired by single moms who are forced to take care of their children alone.

Linus, in third place, was awarded in the dimensional art category, and his paintings were inspired by how the government is satisfied through its various ministries.

November 2014
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