David Koloane Award

The Bag Factory Artists’ Studios is proud to annually host the prestigious David Koloane Award. Initiated in 2010, this award was named in honour of Dr David Koloane (1938-2019), one of the founding members of the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios, to celebrate his life, career and contribution to the arts in South Africa for more than 40 years.

Internationally respected artist, curator, and writer, Koloane was born in Alexandra, Johannesburg in 1938.  He received his art training from 1974 to 1977 at the Bill Ainslie Studios, which later became the Johannesburg Art Foundation. Since the late 1970s, Koloane has been a pioneer in the development of the black art community in South Africa. He co-founded Johannesburg’s first black art gallery and was the head of Fine Arts at the Federative Union of Black Artists (FUBA). He was instrumental in establishing studio space for black artists at The Fordsburg Artists’ Studios (now known as the Bag Factory) and he founded the Thupelo Workshops in South Africa, a concept that spread to Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Founded in 1991, the Bag Factory became an instrumental studio space which made it possible for black and white artists to work together on a professional level, despite the apartheid legislation of that time.

In honour of David Koloane’s contribution to developing the arts industry through his ethos of mentorship and learning through exchange, the David Koloane Award benefits emerging artists who demonstrate passion, dedication and potential for excellence. Recipients will receive an intensive eight-week residency at the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios, including studio space, materials stipend, mentorship from the Bag Factory and established artists, and the opportunity to present their work at the prestigious FNB Art Joburg. This incredible opportunity is made possible through a long-standing partnership with FNB Art Joburg and Gauteng Provincial Government’s Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation.

Bag Factory Artists’ Studios Celebrates Ten Years of the David Koloane Award 

This year, Bag Factory Artists’ Studios celebrates the tenth edition of the prestigious annual David Koloane Award, initiated in 2010 to honour the life and career of internationally respected artist, curator, writer and founding member of the Bag Factory, Dr David Koloane (1938 – 2019) who recently passed away on 30 June 2019, age 81. The tenth anniversary of this award recognises and cherishes the legacy of Dr David Koloane’s contributions, and the foundations he laid, for developing the South African arts industry. He is fondly remembered for his ethos of mentorship, learning through exchange, and the communities of support that he fostered throughout his 40-year career.

The winners of the 2019 David Koloane Award are Helena UambembeOupa Sibeko and Wezile Mgibe. As recipients of the award, Uambembe, Sibeko and Mgibe, will receive mentoring from a roster of internationally established artists, including Zen Marie, Bettina Malcomess, Donna Kukama, Laura Windvogel (aka Lady Skollie), and Tracey Rose, during an intensive eight-week residency at the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios.

The David Koloane Award benefits emerging artists (under 35 and not represented by a gallery) who demonstrate passion, dedication and potential for excellence. Each year, the award gives focus to a different artistic medium, with the 2019 edition focusing on performance art for the first time. The recipients of the award will spend eight weeks in residence at the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios, culminating in the opportunity to present their work at the prestigious FNB Art Joburg (13-15 September 2019) at the Sandton Convention Centre. This incredible opportunity is made possible through a long-standing partnership with FNB Art Joburg, the Gauteng Provincial Government’s Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, and with support from Business and Arts South Africa (BASA).

Programme Dates:                           10 July – 15 September 2019

FNB Art Joburg:                               13-15 September 2019

Previous Winners:

2018 - Phemo Matlhabe

2018 - Lwando Dlamini

2017 - Nolan Stevens

2017 - Lukho Witbooi

2017 - Siya Masuku

2016 - Cameron Ford

2016 - Nkulu Ngozi

2016 - Shenaz Mahomed

2014 - Bongani Njalo

2014 - Zolani Siphungela

2013 - Ross Passmoor

2013 - Ziyanda Majozi

2012 - Jarrett Erasmus

2011 - Seitisho Shabangu

2010 - Senzo Shabangu