Everything you need to know about the 2017 Standard Bank Young Artist Award winners

Last night saw the announcement of six new young artists from South Africa being awarded the prestigious 2017 Standard Bank Young Artist Award (SBYAA).

Covering the mediums of Dance, Theatre, Music, Jazz, Performance Art and Visual Art, the SBYAAs are now in their 36th year and are considered to be the country’s leading arts awards.

Besides securing a place on the National Arts Festival’s main programme, award winners also receive a cash prize and a considerable amount of financial support to help them stage their productions, mount and exhibit their work, or open up their music to larger audiences.

So who are the 2017 SBYAA winners? Take a look below.

Abel Selaocoe | Music

24-year old Abel Selaocoe is a cellist known for his keen application of the cello across a number of unconventional genres, from collaborating with beatboxers to giving concerto performances and solo classical recitals. Abel has also worked extensively as a soloist in South Africa, performing concertos with Johannesburg and Kwazulu-Natal Orchestras and regularly merges his sound with jazz musicians. 

Benjamin Jephta | Jazz

Mitchells Plain-born bassist and composer Benjamin Jephta is a 24-year-old who’s already a well-known name in South African jazz. Since graduating from UCT’s South African College of Music in 2013, he’s come to be considered as one of South Africa’s premier jazz double bass and electric bass players. Besides being involved with many a musical project, he’s performed with a range of local and international musicians including Sibongile Khumalo, Simphiwe Dana, Hugh Masekela, Marcus Wyatt, Bokani Dyer and many others.

Beth Diane Armstrong | Visual Art

Beth Armstrong is a 31-year-old Nelspruit-born sculptor living in Johannesburg. With an interest in structure and its many forms – organic, architectural, mathematical, psychological and conceptual – the Everard Read artist has made a name for herself as one of the country’s foremost sculptors, often focusing her craft on the monumental, through the material of mild and stainless steel.  

Dineo Seshee Bopape | Performance Art 

35-year-old Dineo Bopape is an experimental multimedia artist who’s known for her engaging use of video montages, sound, found objects, photographs and sculptural installations in her work which engages with the poetics of the performative object. The Jo’burg-based artist has already been shown in the US, the Netherlands and the 12th Biennale de Lyon. 

Monageng “Vice” Motshabi | Theatre

Monageng Motshabi is a 33-year-old playwright and director and possibly one of the busiest theatre-makers around. The Naledi Award-winner has been behind shows such as Sizwe Banzi is Dead, Next Sunday, The Playroom, and Book of Rebbelations to name a few. When not writing or directing his own works, Monageng works as a dramaturge for numerous other works.   

Thandazile Radebe | Dance

Having just been awarded the Market Theatre’s Sophie Mgcina New Voices Award, Sonia Thandazile Radebe is a leading contemporary choreographer and dancer in South Africa who was trained in the prestigious Moving Into Dance Mophatong company, who she also performed with for many years. 

Find out more about the Standard Bank Young Artist Awards over here

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