• 06 February 2024 - 25 February 2024
  • Main Gallery, Mezzanine Gallery

Inspired by the long-standing, UK-based annual international portrait competition, the BP Portrait Award, Rust-en-Vrede Gallery in Durbanville, Cape Town launched the Portrait Award in 2013 – with initial generous sponsorship from Sanlam Private Wealth.

The competition has grown exponentially over the years from a singular prized competition with an overall prize of  R 100 000, to a first prize of R 150 000 and an added second and third prize of R 30 000 and R 20 000 respectively. In 2021 the prize money was sponsored by the Rupert Art Foundation. With the launch of a digital entry system for the 2019 competition, it has elevated the standard of South African portraiture for years to come.

The competition is based on anonymous judging: all the works entered are unsigned, thereby levelling the playing field and ensuring that the three judges select the top 100 portraits purely on technicality, narrative and emotional appeal. Each year, a panel of three judges, consisting of one international and two local judges, select what they deem the best 100 portraits from the entries received. From these, the Top 40, Top 5, Top 3 and winning portrait are selected.

KZNSA is proud to be the KZN partner exhibiting the top 40 works of the Portrait Award since 2013. Collectable catalogues are available at the gallery desk for R300.
This exhibition is curated by: Angela Shaw, Page Hadebe, Sazi Dube & John Sempe.

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