Call for Entries: 2021 Cassirer Welz Award

The Bag Factory and Strauss & Co are pleased to announce that the 2021 Cassirer Welz Award call for entries is NOW OPEN.

Since its inception, this award has helped the winners launch their careers and really start making a name for themselves. This award is an important part of Strauss & Co’s ongoing and substantial commitment to young talent in southern Africa – and is a powerful example of the company’s investment in the art of the future.”– Susie Goodman, Executive Director, Strauss & Co, Fine Art Auctioneers

The Cassirer Welz Award recognises excellence in emerging artists (under the age of 35 and not represented by a commercial gallery) specialising in sculpture, drawing, and/or painting, who will benefit from a period of intense studio time and support to develop new work for a solo exhibition.

After celebrating ten exciting and successful years, the Cassirer Welz Award is now open to artists based in any of the following countries where the Bag Factory has an existing network of partner and friend organisations: Botswana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia. 

The winner of the Cassirer Welz Award will receive:

  • A ten-week residency and studio space at the Bag Factory in Johannesburg.
  • An opportunity for substantial personal and creative growth through the exchange of ideas and an individualised programme of mentorship. 
  • Significant skills and professional development opportunities.
  • Curatorial and pastoral support from the Bag Factory staff.
  • The opportunity to showcase new work produced during the residency in a solo exhibition at the Bag Factory.
  • Flights to and from Johannesburg and accommodation for the duration of the programme. 
  • A residency stipend of R25 000 towards materials, exhibition costs and related expenses.

The following expenses are NOT included:

  • Visa costs, travel insurance, and any required Covid-19 test costs will be for the artist’s own expense.
  • Costs to transport artworks back to the artist’s home country will be for the artist’s own expense.

Deadline EXTENDED: Wednesday 29 September 2021, 11h00 (SAST)
The winner of the award will be announced on 29 November 2021.

Programme Dates:
The residency will run from 10 January to 18 March 2022.
The exhibition will run from 19 March to 7 April 2022.

The artist is expected to:

  • Take Covid-19 social distancing protocols into consideration at all times.
  • Arrive on time and stay for the full 3-month programme period (the programme duration and dates are not negotiable).
  • Work from the studio in the Bag Factory and interact with Bag Factory and local artists.
  • Participate in the Bag Factory’s community ethos of learning and sharing through exchange.
  • Produce new and exciting work for a solo show at the Bag Factory.
  • Participate in marketing and PR activities facilitated by the Bag Factory.
  • Complete a written report on the programme on completion of the residency.
  • Donate an artwork to the Bag Factory at the end of the residency to support creative programmes for future beneficiaries.

How to Apply

What must applicants submit?
ONE MULTI-PAGE PDF document, no more than 10MB in size, including the following information:

  • A brief letter of motivation, not more than one A4 page long, outlining reasons for wishing to join the programme and why specifically you wish to come to the Bag Factory.
  • Images of a representative portfolio of at least 20 works produced in the past five years.
  • An exhibition outline/project outline, indicating what you will be working towards during your residency, and a timeline for your planned project.
  • A comprehensive Curriculum Vitae with full name, address, contact numbers and references.

*Incomplete applications will NOT be considered.

How will the applications be assessed?
The award will be adjudicated by the Bag Factory staff and studio artists, along with Strauss & Co’s Executive Director Susie Goodman and the company’s art specialists.
Shortlisted candidates, ONLY, will be contacted by Wednesday 29 September 2021 for a virtual interview. If you have not heard from us by that date, please consider your application unsuccessful.

EMAIL YOUR APPLICATION TO: (with ‘Cassirer Welz Award 2021’ in the subject line)