02 November 2021

Absa is set to launch their latest virtual exhibition in collaboration with the Artist Proof Studio (APS) on 4 November 2021. The exhibition will run until the end of this year. 

With this collaboration, Absa seeks to continue playing a shaping role in society by nurturing and supporting fledgling artists from the APS. Twelve final year students will also be awarded bursaries to the value of R580 000. 

Business Practice Masterclasses will be led by leading personalities in the arts such as Banele Khoza, Kim Siew and Sarah McGee. The masterclasses will equip the APS students with the necessary business acumen to better manage their business as they launch their careers and also how to market their artwork.

The virtual exhibition will see 23 artists from the innovative and engaged APS community showcasing their artwork on the Absa Art Hot Spot platform.

"We recognise that the growth we want to achieve is inextricably linked to our firm commitment to be an active force for good in the communities where we operate. The partnership with APS will allow us to continue showcasing our advanced online capabilities and will also help us to meaningfully impact the development of young artists," says Absa Senior Specialist Art Curator, Dr Paul Bayliss.

"We have used the restrictions brought about by the pandemic to entrench ourselves as a leader in showcasing art digitally. This ranges from launching the Absa Art Hot Spot webinar series, to hosting several online art exhibitions, masterclasses, and the Absa L'Atelier Awards virtually as well as migrating certain elements of our art-related sponsorships and partnerships to this innovative online platforms," he adds.

APS Managing Director for Marketing and Business Development, Nathi Simelane, says this partnership with Absa will allow them to showcase some of their growth in an exciting way since students have had to adapt to a hybrid communication learning process over the past 18 months.

"This exhibition will allow our more senior students to re-examine their own identities, through an investigation of their cultural ideologies, practices, personal and collective histories," he says.

"Some will celebrate and honour fundamental aspects of their cultural identities whilst others question  prevailing patriarchal traditions. In many of the pieces, the ‘personal’ is laid bare. This is sometimes explored through representations of the body or a particular place and space. The notion of ‘home’ as a state of mind, or something less representative and tangible, emerges in the senior student’s work. It marks and narrates a journey experienced by many through lockdown and beyond of introspection, probing and reconciliation," he adds. 

The Masterclass series kicked-off on 29  September when renowned artist, gallerist and curator, Banele Khoza, hosted a session that focused on developing, identifying, maintaining, and making the most of opportunities in developing an artist's career.

The next session was hosted by Kim Siew on 27 October and dealt with maintaining and growing relationships with peers, gallerists, curators, donors, buyers, and industry leaders.

Sarah McGee will host the final session in the series on 10 November when she will take a closer look at galleries, teaching students how to engage with galleries, the pricing of artwork, contracts and issues around consignment.

All the masterclass sessions can be viewed on the Absa Art Hot Spot