Nov 13, 2007


Artworks from emerging artists fetched up to R30 000 in the first Shoprite Strokes of Genius art auction which took place Saturday (November 10) at the Swartkops Airforce Base in Pretoria.  Strokes of Genius aims to give emerging South African artists the opportunity to showcase their art and achieve commercial success, by exposing their work to local and international buyers.  The project – launched in September this year – has the full support of the Department of Arts and Culture and the Department of Trade and Industry.

Two artworks each collected R30 000, the highest closing bid for emerging artists.  These were Rainbow Nation, an acrylic portrait by 35-year-old Bloemfontein artists Victor Geduldt; and Angel, an oil portrait by 23-year-old Hermanus artist Wayne Wyngaard.  The third highest bid for an emerging artist was R15 000 for a piece entitled Taking Charge by 56-year old Orlando artist Napo Kikine.

Commenting on his participation in the project, Victor Gedult says: “Art and painting are an integral part of my life. I was at the point of stopping to paint because it has been hard to find people to buy my paintings. Strokes of Genius has changed that.”

The artworks selected for auction included 42 works from artists between the ages of 16 and 56 from all nine provinces. The top artworks chosen for the auction were drawn from submissions from emerging young African artists at high school and tertiary level training institutes as well as community arts projects nationwide.  Artworks were reviewed by a panel of selected experts, who chose the best art works in each province for this auction - the first of its kind in South Africa. 

Says Brian Weyers, Shoprite Group’s director of corporate marketingin his keynote address, “Tonight is a special occasion for Shoprite as it marks the beginning of a new area of involvement for the company to assist with the economic sustainability of a special section of society, our budding young artists.” Weyers also highlighted the role played by the website where a visual gallery is making South African art accessible to buyers from all over the world. 

The event also included a charity auction of works by renowned artists including Amos Langdown’s Goat Herders and Midday Rest which both received bids for R60 000, Gregoire Boonzaaier’s Picking Fruit for R54 000 and Frans Claerhout’s Flowers in Vase for which bidding closed at R35000 to name just a few.                                                                      

While the proceeds from the sales of work by new artists went directly to the artist, the profits from the charity auction will be donated to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

Keynote speaker, Dereck Hanekom, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology challenged the Shoprite group to take this project even further by building upon the foundation laid this year.

Wally Serote, CEO Freedom Park Trust, presented the Friend of the Fine Arts award to Desmond Sampson.  Sampson has been instrumental in supporting and creating opportunities for budding artists in South Africa through the media, and by showcasing their work to the art community in order for them to become a commercial success. 

Local artists can still submit art to the Shoprite Strokes of Genius website, to be sold to the public at any time. 

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