The Sylt Foundation calls all mid-career contemporary visual artists to apply for the two month South African Visual Artist's Residency offered as part of the Sylt Foundation's International Residency Programme.

  • 04 April 2013


One residency will be awarded annually to a South African artists or a South African resident who have sustained a career profile of a minimum of seven to ten years in the contemporary visual sector.
Every year international writers, artists and performers take up a two month residency at the Kunst: Raum Sylt Quelle, where they are given excellent studio accommodation, a stipend, administrative and logistical support. Their residencies provide creative free time for these artists, writers and performers which allows them to conceptualize and develop their projects, initiate new opportunities and experience stimulating cultural  interaction and dialogue through sharing their artistic experiences with other artists in residence.
The aim with this residency is to provide visual artists with an opportunity to develop ideas, undertake research or even reflect on projects. Usually for artists, emphasis is placed on the production and showing of work, as well as managing projects and opportunities; thus artists find little time for the vital process of conceptualization, research and reflection. Many awards, competitions and residencies challenge artists through defined goals, outputs and production imperatives.
Artists need to have time to focus on developing their practice by engaging meaningfully with the ideas and work that interests and drives them. This time is critical for the conceptualizing of work that sustains their careers. This process is often lost when balancing the pressures of industry, commissions and career imperatives. Unlike other residency opportunities, this opportunity is not output focused but designed for artists to utilize the time as best suits their needs.
What does the South African Visual Art Residency (SAVAR) provide?

This particular residency offered by the Sylt Foundation is not focused on artistic production nor is it studio based; rather its focus is on conceptualizing, preparation and process. It offers reflective, creative time to plan and develop new projects or a new body of work. It provides an artist with the quiet time required for research and thinking involved in preparing of new work.The Foundation does not provide a working studio, nor manufacturing facilities involving power tools nor a workshop.

The Facilities

What is does offer is a two (2) month stay in a modern, heated, fully furnished, one bedroom, studio apartment situated on the Foundation grounds. Each apartment has a well equiped kitchen providing self catering facilities. The apartment is equipped with a TV, a PC with internet and free WIFI for those artists who bring their own laptops. The apartment is suitable for creative investigation and research, drawing, photography and small scale preparatory or sketch artwork. It is not suitable for sculptural work.
What a residency can do for a artist's career.

A residency can broaden an artist's artistic vision, enrich their art practice, expand their networks and provide a mid-career artist with cultural dialogue opportunities with their peers and in addition open future career opportunities. It leverages an artist's profile and career status. Residencies provide invaluable international exposure and can facilitate collaboration on future art projects or exhibitions with fellow professionals as well as invaluable contemplative time.
Who is eligible to apply for the Sylt Foundation South African Visual Artist Residency?

•               Practicing contemporary visual artists who are South African citizens or Permanent Residents of the Republic of South Africa
•               Visual artists with a sustained career profile of 5 to 10 years
•               Artists who have had a minimum of two (2) solo exhibitions and participated on at least one (1) curated group exhibition
•               Only artists able to take up this Residency within sixteen (16) months of selection may apply
Application & Selection Process
•               Only digital applications will be accepted
                Applications to include:
•               Copy of South African ID document or a Permanent Resident permit
•               Full Curriculum Vitae
•               Artist’s Profile - 500 words
•               Artist’s Statement on their art practice - 800 words
•               Six (6) images of key/ recent works
•               Two (2 ) Letters of Reference from visual arts sector professionals
Please note

•               only MS Word Documents or PDF documents will be accepted
•               only JPEG images accepted no larger than 500KB each
•               no email to exceed 5MB.


The winner of the 2012 Sylt Foundation South African Visual Artist Residency: Jacki McInnes, a Johannesburg based contemporary artist.  Jacki will take up her residency in mid-April.
Key dates for the 2013 South African Visual Art Residency
All applications to be submitted by
4pm Friday 31 May 2013
Announcement and notification of 4 finalists
Tuesday 14 June 2013
Submission of finalists motivation by
4pm Monday 19 July 2013

Announcement of Award
August 2013
Residency to be taken up from September 2013 - December 2014
Submission of entries to:
Art Source South Africa
enquiries: 011 447 2855
Mon-Fri 9-4pm

Enquiries via:
Kelly Mcerlean Art Intern
011 447 2855
Project Manager
Les Cohn
011 447 2855
Further information visit our website:
Art Source South Africa

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