Absa L’Atelier Art Competition 2023 for Young African Artists

Deadline: May 31, 2023

Applications are open for the Absa L’Atelier Art Competition 2023. Absa L’Atelier is a pan-African competition celebrating its 37th edition. It aims to invest in and showcase the finest young artists from 12 African countries where Absa has a presence. These countries are Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

The competition provides uniquely African artists with support, recognition, and exposure, enabling them to cement their burgeoning careers. The competition underwent re-envisioning in 2021 and has since led the charge in digital progression in the African arts landscape. In 2023, Absa L’Atelier continues to improve the digital system and user experience for the artists entering the competition.


There are four prizes for the competition:

  • The main prize for the winner of each group; and
  • The Absa Latelier Gerard Sekoto Award for a South African entrant that continues to demonstrate growth in their art production.


  • To enter, artists must be aged 21 to 40, citizens or permanent residents of one of the 12 qualifying African countries, and currently reside within one of these countries. The competition consists of three groups, with four countries randomly assigned to each group. Artists within each group compete against each other by submitting a portfolio of four to five artworks. Failure to adhere to this submission criterion leads to immediate disqualification.
  • Only one entry is allowed.
  • Each entry consists of a body of artwork, with a minimum of four and a maximum of five artworks.
  • All artwork must be uploaded via the Absa L’Atelier online platform.
  • The works of art must have been completed in the 12 months before the closing date of the competition.
  • Only original artworks may be entered.

Entries in any medium will be accepted, subject to the following requirements:

  • A single artwork that needs to be hung, must not be larger than 2m x 2m and must not weigh more than 30kg, including the frame. It must also pass through a standard-sized single door.
  • Sculptures, including the base, may not exceed a mass of 100kg. The size of the sculpture must not be larger than 2m x 2m and must pass through a standard-sized single door.
  • Works of art that consist of several parts, including the frames, must not be larger than 2m x 2m and must not have a combined hanging weight of more than 50kg. The individual pieces making up the artwork must pass through a standard-sized single door. If a sculpture is included, it may not exceed a mass of 100kg, and must pass through a standard-sized single door.
  • No installation artwork may be entered.
  • Artworks must be of such a nature that they can easily be packed, transported and exhibited. The selection panel and/or organisers have the right to refuse to accept artworks that are difficult to hang, install, transport or handle.
  • The selection panel and/or organisers have the right to refuse to accept or display artworks, which they are of the opinion, are dangerous or potentially dangerous, or of a nature that may cause injury or damage to persons or goods.
  • No artwork will be accepted that incites hate speech and propaganda or violence against race, creed, gender or sexual orientation.
  • No artwork compiled by more than one entrant will be accepted.
  • Video entries must not exceed five minutes in length and must have a definite start and end point. The video should not form a continuous loop. Any digital work longer than five minutes (including the start and finish) will be disqualified.
  • All artwork entered must be for sale. The selling price must remain the same as the selling price reflected on the online registration form.
  • No performance art will be accepted.
  • All artworks must be exhibition-ready. If an entrant’s artworks are selected, they must immediately be ready for transport to the Absa Gallery.


Click here to apply

For more information, visit Absa L’Atelier Art Competition.