Norval Foundation and The Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF) have announced the launch of an annual award for contemporary artists from Africa and its diaspora. The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize (NSAAP) celebrates the practices of leading contemporary artists and aims to benefit them by increasing their international exposure.

Fifty-three independent art professionals working across 20 countries and territories have nominated artists to enter the prize, resulting in over 300 online submissions.

Norval Sovereign African Art Prize NSAAP

Exhibition of shortlisted artists 

The competition will culminate in an exhibition of 30 shortlisted artists at Norval Foundation from 26 January to 28 February 2022.

The first prize is a cash award of R500 000 and the opportunity for a solo exhibition at Norval Foundation in Cape Town. The NSAAP also aims to raise funds for shortlisted artists and for Norval Foundation’s Education Programme in an equal split through an auction administered by Sotheby’s.

An additional award (Public Vote Prize, R25 000) will be granted to the finalist whose work proves the most popular with the public through online votes or in-person voting at the exhibition.

The exhibition is expected to comprise a diverse display of artwork by some of the most significant voices in contemporary art while supporting arts education in Africa.

Online auction

The finalists’ artworks will be auctioned online in partnership with Sotheby’s, with auction proceeds to be split equally between the artists and Norval Foundation. The Foundation will use these resources to assist learners by developing their visual and verbal literacy, fostering their capacity for creative thinking and nurturing empathy, while empowering educators.

Online entries will be shortlisted, and final winners determined by an expert judging panel:

– David Ellio – Writer, Curator, and Museum Director
– Janine Gaëlle Dieudji, Exhibitions Director at Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden, Marrakech
– Tim Marlow, Director and CEO of the Design Museum, London
– Khanya Mashabela, Curator at Norval Foundation
– Marie-Ann Yemsi, Curator and art consultant

The names of the 30 shortlisted artists will be announced in October 2021. Info about the nomination, entry process, full nominator list, and more is available at SAF and Norval Foundation.

What: Norval Sovereign African Art Prize NSAAP