Competition Winners

Overall Winner

Mandi-Anne Bezuidenhout

Mandi-Anne Bezuidenhout obtained her BA Fine Arts Degree from the University of the Free State in 2012 and is currently reading for a MA Fine Arts Degree at the same institution. Mandi-Anne is a conceptual installation and photographic artist. She investigates strained interpretations of historic lesbian ideologies within visual culture and the way in which a spectator may be transported from an apathetic position of voyeurism to an empathetic regard. She was selected as a finalist for the Fractal Young Artist Exhibition in 2012 and co-curated the group exhibition. She has curated and participated in the Fine Arts and Affiliated Artist Exhibition at the Free State Arts Festival in 2013. Mandi-Anne was also selected as a finalist for the ABSA L’Atelier National Art Competition in both 2012 and 2013 and the Sasol New Signatures Competition 2013. In addition, the University of the Free State awarded her Best Conceptual Artist in 2012.

Mandi-Anne formed part of the PIKO/PIAD production team and was an assistant to the curator of the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery: firstly in creative collaboration with artist Cigdem Aydemir on her project Plastic Histories as production assistant, photographer and assistant in augmented reality. Mandi-Anne was also volunteers coordinator in conjunction with being administrative assistant to OPENLab 2014 – The Art of Being Public, a national residency platform aimed at generating new strategies and ideas in site-specific, experimental and interdisciplinary practice. Secondly, as project manager and curatorial collaborator of the 2015 Free State Arts Festival opening event White Horse Project in partnership with the Australia Council for the Arts, SITUATE Art in Festivals, Free State Arts Festival and the University of the Free State.

Currently, Mandi-Anne is a senior lecturer at Brisley School of Art situated at Oliewenhuis Art Museum and is a freelance photographer for the University of the Free State. She is also a member of Fractal Contemporary Art Forum an ad hoc of the Friends of Oliewenhuis Art Museum.

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Runner Up Winner

André Rose

André is a scientist, storyteller, writer of fiction, traveller, poet and visual artist. He is a public health physician with a passion for social justice.

His artwork reflects on the plight of the marginalised; giving voice to those muted by the jarring voices of a highly inequitable society. He is intrigued by people living at the fringes of society and endeavours to make meaning of their lived experiences. He explores the intersection of the citizenry at these margins with other social streams.

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Merit Award

Louis Krüger

Louis Krüger is currently working as a freelance videographer, graphic designer and photographer.

His academic qualifications include: an MA degree in Fine Arts (cum laude) obtained at the University of the Free State (UFS) in 2016, a BA degree in Fine Arts in 2012 at the same institution where he passed his final year with a distinction and received the 2012 Best Senior Student in New Media Award, and a diploma in Graphic Design and Photography at the Planet Pixl School of Advertising in 2008.

Krüger has qualified for the top 100 of the Absa L’Atelier Art Competition in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In 2012 he was chosen as the winner of the Fractal Young Artist Exhibition held at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum. In 2013 a video artwork of his was added to the collection of the War Museum of the Boer Republics in Bloemfontein. Currently he is also acting as project coordinator for VROST (Vrystaat Open Studio Tour), launched in 2017 as a new addition to the Vrystaat Arts Festival (Vryfees.)

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Merit Award

Tumelo David Molapisi

Born in Thaba Nchu, David Molapisi worked at the mines where he spent time with sculptors and painters like George Ramagaga and painter Frans Claerhout. He gained a personal interest in sculpture around 1996 and developed the necessary skills as he started attending workshops.  In 2009, David won the first prize representing the Free State Province in the Craft Awards held by the Department of Arts and Culture in Pretoria.

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Public Choice Award

Jessica Hansen

Born in 1994 in Bloemfontein, Jessica matriculated in Klerksdorp, studied in Port Elizabeth for four years and graduated in 2016 with a B.Tech in Fine Arts Ceramics.

She now lives in Bloemfontein, and works in ceramics for local artist Dina Grobler. She also restores furniture, dabbles in interior decorating and works for a business called Artspoken where she builds canvases and makes abstract paintings for mostly offices.

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Willie Bester

Willie Bester is regarded as one of South Africa's most acclaimed resistance artists. Internationally recognised, he incorporates recycled material into his paintings, assemblages and sculpture, usually commenting on political injustices and human rights issues of the day. Mostly self-taught with no formal art training, he has had a number of solo exhibitions in South Africa and Africa, and his work has been included in a multitude of group exhibitions across the globe.

Elrie Joubert

Elrie Joubert is a Bloemfontein situated visual artist and obsessive collector of miniature natural objects. She won the Absa l'Atelier Art Competition in 2012 and as part of her prize, received a six month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France in 2013. She has also participated in various group exhibitions, notably “Small Objects” (2013) with artist Brian Collier in New York, USA. Joubert had her first solo exhibition in 2014, entitled “For Keep’s Sake”, followed by “From Crane Flies to Cameos” in 2016.

Ricardo Peach

Dr Ricardo Peach is the Director of the Vrystaat Kunstefees/Arts Festival/Tsa-Botjhaba, a multi-artform arts festival in Mangaung, South Africa. The festival is held annually over a six day period during the second week of July in Bloemfontein, Free State.
In his independent role he developed and is the Co-Director of the Program for Innovation in Artform Development at the Vrystaat Arts Festival and University of the Free State.

Palesa Motsumi

Palesa Motsumi is the founder of Sematsatsa Library, a social events initiative focused on empowering and strengthening the rich imagery and work of women of colour in the creative industries. She is a writer, facilitator and a communications practitioner by training and has works as art consultant for various artists. She is also the Managing Director of the Mangaung Art Fair, coming up in 2018.

MC Roodt

'MC Roodt is an artist, curator, arts writer and cultural practitioner. Currently based in the Free State, he applies his interest in cultural practice and social sculpture by leading an Arts & Health programme. Artworks of his have been included in various local and international collections and Roodt has received numerous nominations and awards. His curatorial practice has received equal attention locally and abroad, after being selected as curator in residence at the VisualAIDS Archive in New York. He also chairs the Arts & Health SIG under the Public Health Association of South Africa together with being a founding member of the African Policy Network.