Nov 18, 2009

Bonola Kavula, a grade 11 learner from Kimberley Girls High School in the Northern Cape, on Saturday (14 November 2009) was announced as the national winner in the Shoprite Checkers Strokes of Genius Art Competition for secondary schools. With her beautiful painting (right) this talented young artist earned herself a R20 000 scholarship towards further studies in art, and was also rewarded with R10 000 for her school. 

Shoprite and Checkers recognizes the immense potential inherent in the youth, and the need to harness creative talent from an early age in order to produce more world class artists from our country. As part of its commitment to promote the development of art and culture amongst young people, the Shoprite Checkers Strokes of Genius project, supported by the Department of Arts and Culture and the Department of Trade and Industry, launched an art competition for secondary schools in May 2009. This art competition gave secondary school learners throughout South Africa the opportunity to showcase their skills in portraying the competition theme, Building Communities through the Arts, through the medium of visual art. 

Schools who wished to take part in the competition submitted rough sketches of their concepts for preliminary judging. Based on the more than 120 rough sketches received from across South Africa the best 70 entries were invited to create and submit final art works. These schools each received an artist kit containing oil paints, brushes and blocked canvasses with which the learners had for create their final entries. 

Provincial judging rounds were held at selected locations during October and November. Provincial winners each received an art kit worth R1 000 as well as a R2 000 Shoprite and Checkers voucher for his/her school. 

From the provincial winners eight national finalists were chosen. These finalists were: 
• Samantha Butcher from Heidelberg Christian School in Heidelberg, Western Cape 
• Njongo Phumlomo & Abongile Nzuzo from Zisukhanyo Secondary School in Mitchell's Plain, Western Cape 
• Bonola Kavula from Kimberley Girls High School in Kimberley, Northern Cape 
• Ryan Hardick from St Andrew’s School in Bloemfontein, Free State 
• Amy Preston from Clarendon High School in East London, Eastern Cape 
• Victoria Urguhart from Collegiate High School for Girls in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape 
• Khutso Mmethi from Mashathi Art Centre in Midrand, Gauteng 
• Stephanie Grobler from Pietersburg Hoërskool in Polokwane, Limpopo 

The national winners were announced by the Minister of Arts and Culture, Ms Lulu Xingwana, during an elegant art exhibition held at Sorex Estate in Centurion on 14 November. Victoria Urguhart from Collegiate High School for Girls in the Eastern Cape was awarded 2nd place and Samantha Butcher from Heidelberg Christian School in the Western Cape was third. They walked away with educational policies to the value R15 000 and R10 000 for 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Their schools also received R8 000 and R5 000 in the same order. 

The exhibition showcased the art work entered by the eight national finalists, as well as works from a few talented young and upcoming artists and crafters who use the Strokes of Genius online art gallery to promote their talents. Also on display were art works by South African masters such as Amos Langdown, Gregoire Boonzaier, Vader Claerhout, H Boshoff, J Rose-Innes, Charles van der Merwe, H Stipps, P Botto and Heather Auer. 

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