2021 StateoftheART Gallery Award

In 2021, the Award was again open to entries from artists from across the country to submit their artwork to the 3rd edition of the StateoftheART Gallery Award.

The online application was open between 1 April - 30 June 2021 to visual artists who are permanently resident in South Africa, aged 18 and above, and who had not yet held a solo exhibition with a commercial gallery.

All entrants were required to submit 3 artworks to the 2021 theme of 'On the Brink : Visualising Climate Change'.

Award 2021 Header


The 2021 judging panel included Ashraf Jamal, writer and art critic;  Strijdom van der Merwe, Africa’s foremost land artist;  Nadja Daehnke, Director of the Irma Stern Museum; Lucinda Jolly, arts lecturer, writer & academic - and Jennifer Reynolds, owner of StateoftheART. 


The Top 10 finalists were chosen from more than 600 submissions from across South Africa, with the judges scoring the artists on the creativity, originality and technical skill of their entries.

The 2021 finalists were announced in August 2021:

Dominic De Villiers

Given Muronga

Janet Ormond

Kristen McClarty

Liesl Roos

Mfundo Sizwe Ziphozonke Mngomezulu

Rozelle Greyling

Sylvester Mqeku

Theophelus Rikhotso

Tumelo Mphela


The Finalists Exhibition went on show at StateoftheART's Cape Town Gallery Showroom in October 2021 and included photography, printmaking, painting and sculpture.

Special thanks to our 2021 sponsor Jetlog Logistics who generously assisted artists with the delivery of their work to the Finalists Exhibition in Cape Town.



The Award Ceremony and opening reception was held on 16 October at StateoftheART and Sylvester Zanoxolo Mqeku was named the overall winner of the 2021 Award.

He received a cash prize of R40 000 to support the development of new work, and a solo exhibition with the Gallery in 2022.


Sylvester Mqeku sculpture