Home » Sanlam and YES canvas for young creatives at Y4T Art Exhibition 2024 

Sanlam and YES canvas for young creatives at Y4T Art Exhibition 2024 

by Tia

The Department of Tourism recently highlighted how crucial the tourism sector is for the economy. To help young creatives tap into these opportunities,Sanlam and the Youth Employment Service (YES) launched the highly anticipated Youth4Tourism (Y4T) Art Exhibition 2024 on 4 July at the prestigious Johannesburg-based Sanlam Art Lounge.  

Paul Hanratty, CEO of Sanlam, says the exhibition showcases young South Africans’ exceptional talent and creativity while promoting the country’s tourism industry.  

“The Youth4Tourism Art Exhibition is a powerful testament to our youth’s talent and potential. By providing a platform for young creatives to showcase their skills and earn through their work, we foster a spirit of entrepreneurship and empower them to become active contributors to our economy and society.”  

Unlocking young potential to stimulate the local economy 

The Y4T Art Exhibition is more than a celebration of young South African talent but also a catalyst for job creation and entrepreneurship in the creative and tourism sectors. Providing a platform for emerging artists to showcase their work to an audience drives potential employment opportunities, artists’ commissions, and collaborations.  

The initiative has placed 1018 youth in tourism and creative sector jobs that have helped promote and support tourist attractions in their hometowns and surrounds through creative outputs like photography and videography. These youths help draw local and international tourists to various destinations, attractions, and tourism providers to increase local businesses’ footfall and earnings. Young participants are mentored and upskilled in marketable marketing and social media skills as part of the programme.  

Unveiling young creatives’ concept of home 

Youth4Tourism invited young creatives to submit their artworks, photographs, and videos centred around the “Roots Unveiled: Exploring Home and Identity” theme in April this year. The concept encouraged participants to delve into the idea of ‘home’ being a physical space and a cultural anchor, expressing the diverse facets of their identities shaped by their roots.  

The exhibition features a captivating collection of artworks meticulously selected by a distinguished panel of judges, including award-winning artist, photographer, and the Fine Arts Coordinator at Stellenbosch University, Ashley Walters.  

The panel carefully evaluated over 70 submissions across various media forms, including photography, videography, and digital art, selecting 36 artworks out of the initial submissions for the final exhibition. The judging criteria were tailored to each media type, focusing on creativity, technical proficiency, relevance to the “Roots Unveiled: Exploring Home and Identity” theme, and overall impact.  

Reflecting on the quality of the submitted artworks, Walters said, “Overall, the photography, digital paintings, and videos exhibit exceptional quality, strong conceptual thinking, and high technical proficiency. The works demonstrate original interpretation, wonderful experimentation, playfulness, and ties to historical and family lineages. In some instances, there is a clear development of a personal visual language, especially notable in submissions that suggest a cohesive body of work, photo essays, or consolidated visual narratives.” 

The initiative recognised the top three entries during the exhibition’s opening ceremony, awarding each creative a share of photography and videography equipment vouchers valued at R37 000. The winners were: 

  • Lungile Ngcobo took home the first prize of R15 000 for “Matriarch’s Grace””, a digital photograph. 
  • Tshegofatso Rakwena was awarded the second prize of R12 000 for “Love”, a digital photograph.   
  • Akido Malabela won the third prize of R10 000 for “Tembisa Cow”, a digital photograph.  

Hanratty said these prizes not only recognise the exceptional talent of the young artists but also provide them with the resources to further their creative pursuits. “By awarding these talented creatives the opportunities to showcase their skills and earn through their creative work, we are fostering a spirit of entrepreneurship and empowering them to become active contributors to our economy.” 

Empowering the youth through job creation 

The Y4T Art Exhibition allows young creatives to build professional portfolios and establish themselves in the art world by exhibiting their work. Furthermore, the equipment voucher prizes equip the winners with valuable resources to invest in their craft and kickstart their careers.  

“This collaborative effort between Sanlam and YES exemplifies the power of public-private partnerships in driving youth empowerment, stimulating economic activity and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship that will benefit the participating artists and the broader creative and tourism industries in South Africa,” adds Hanratty.   

Ravi Naidoo, CEO of YES, emphasised the exhibition’s significance, “YES seeks to empower youth through employment and skills development, driving inclusive economic growth in South Africa. The Youth4Tourism Art Exhibition is a good example of how these efforts have allowed us to leverage the creativity of our youth. By investing in young people and providing them with the tools and platforms to succeed, we are addressing unemployment and cultivating a generation of innovative thinkers and entrepreneurs who will shape the future of our nation.” 

The Youth4Tourism Art Exhibition will run from 5 July – 16 August 2024 at the Sanlam Art Lounge at 11 Alice Lane, Johannesburg. Visitors are encouraged to explore captivating artworks, engage with young artists, and support their creative endeavours.   

First Prize
Second Prize
Third Prize

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