Ricochet News

Sanlam Portrait Award- hosted by the GFI Gallery in Nelson Mandela Bay

By Liesl Silverman - May 10, 2018
Sanlam Portrait Award- hosted by the GFI Gallery in Nelson Mandela Bay

The Sanlam Portrait Award 2017 was hosted by the Gutsche Family Investment Art Gallery (GFI), in St Georges Park, on Wednesday night.

Head curator of the GFI, Hayley Grinstead said, “This is the third Sanlam Portrait Award exhibition to take place at the GFI. Every second year, the exhibition comes to Port Elizabeth and is sponsored by Sanlam”.

The award aims to celebrate and showcase the best portrait artwork in South Africa and only the top forty paintings are selected for the final, which took place in Cape Town in August 2017.

The exhibition features two works by Kate Arthur, the current winner of the Sanlam Portrait Award, and the works of two local artists- Jennifer Ord and Lwando Lunika, who were both present at the exhibition.

Stefan Hundt, curator of the Sanlam Art Collection said, “It is wonderful that there are two Eastern Cape artists amongst the top forty in the Sanlam Portrait Award. I’m sure they will be a great inspiration to other artists in the region”.

Lwando Lunika, a young, untrained artist from Walmer Township, was encouraged by one of his teachers to enter the Sanlam Portrait Award, after he recognised the young man’s talent.

“Since I was sixteen it was a dream of mine to enter the Sanlam Portrait Award and I still can’t believe I made it into the top forty. This is a great opportunity for me and I hope to start some art initiatives in the future” said Lunika in his brief speech at the event.

Lunika was informed at the event that the William Humphries National Gallery in Kimberley, had bought four of his artworks for their personal collection.

“The judges had to select forty paintings out of more than a thousand entrants in just four days, for the Sanlam Portrait award” said Stefan Hundt.

Hundt’s advice to South African portrait painters was to persevere no matter what, and to keep on entering the competition, even if they didn’t have success the first time around.

The judges of the Sanlam Portrait Award 2017 are- Peter Monkman, director of Art at Charterhouse in the UK; Nkule Mabaso, curator at the Michaelis Galleries in Cape Town; and Carl Jeppe, Fine Arts lecturer at the University of Pretoria.

The exhibition opened on Wednesday the 9th of May and is open to the public until the 8th of June.

Information and opening hours can be found at: www.gfiartgallery.com