NATIONAL CRAFT COMPETITION 2023
A prestigious national craft competition will this year give South African crafters a wonderful opportunity to showcase their work.
South African artist and curator of the Innibos National Arts Festival John Anthony Boerma says the awards will give South Africa’s world-class crafters an opportunity to reveal the excellence of their skills.
Organised by the creative team that conceived and for over 10 years has presented the iconic Innibos National Arts Festival, the craft awards will pull together a diverse range of judges who all have one thing in common – a passion for developing South Africa’s creative talent.
These industry giants will use their years of experience to select from among the entries a collection of works that any international gallery would be glad to house.
Entries – consisting of photo submissions – have opened and close at the end of March 2023. John Anthony explains that the panel of judges will then select the best entries to be exhibited at the Innibos National Arts Festival to be held in the Lowveld capital of Mbombela in July 2023.
The winners will be announced at a glittering awards evening. The winner of the Platinum Award will receive R50 000, the Gold Award winner will pocket R30 000 and the Silver R15 000. There will also be merit awards for the Best Emerging Craftsmen, along with sound financial advice to grow their business. In addition, a Craft Retail Apprenticeship with Tourvest Destination Retail will be bestowed on one of the winners.
Craftsmen who marry their cultural heritage with contemporary sophistication and technical skill to create unique and unforgettable works of art, will be recognised. Entries in the disciplines of Ceramics, Beadwork, Wirework, Wood, Jewellery, Paper, Fabric Painting and Printing, Quilting, Leatherwork, Pewter, Glasswork, Embroidery and Mixed Media are invited.
John Anthony and Jan Bhuda, partners in Art Aid Africa, a company that assists in empowering skilled crafters, artists and educators, are excited about the potential of the awards to foster growth and commercial strength in the crafts industry in South Africa.
“It is important that an awareness of this wide and eclectic form of artistic expression is raised. The time has come for South African craftsmen to fully and freely express themselves,” says John Anthony.
“Innibos aims to create a platform for the development and enjoyment of all genres of art, so the National Craft Awards is a natural evolution of Innibos, which is synonymous with celebrating South African talent,” says Sandra Jacobs, one of the founders of the Innibos National Arts Festival.
It is easy to enter – and free!
Crafters wanting to enter need only send a photo of their craft work to Jan Bhuda on 083 719 1731, along with their name and surname. To give judges an idea of the size of the work, please place a standard matchbox next to your creation when taking the photo. Photos may also be emailed to John Anthony Boerma at. Deadline for applications is 31 March 2023.
The judges include Joseph Mathe (National Department of Arts and Culture: Responsible for the development of crafts), Thabo Manetsi (Director: Western and Northern Cape provinces – Leading in Heritage Development), Dawn Robertson (c eramist and CEO, Constitution Hill), Wendy Goldblatt (internationally-known ceramist; Ceramics SA founder; Craft Council of South Africa founder); Fran Stewart (Cape Craft + Design Institute’s Market Support Programme Manager); Laurette van Zyl (product developer), and artist Anna Mahlangu.
They will be complemented by another six judges who have extensive experience in craft retail. These judges are Kim Sacks (Kim Sacks Gallery is one of the foremost ceramic and African art galleries in SA), Judy Dlamini (formidable businesswoman and partner in Luminance which provides a commercial platform for local crafters), Maureen Waldeck (Brand Manager for Tourvest Destination Retail’s stores and retail brands and a seasoned retailer with an exceptional eye for merchandise), Margaret Woermann (founder of Heartworks, which sells special handmade South African items), Margie Murgatroyd (Africa Nova, finely curated African art, textiles, tribal artefacts, ceramics, jewellery and basketry), Willem Boshoff (one of South Africa’s foremost contemporary artists), Oresti Mavrodaris (designer, Elegance Jewellers, Melrose Arch), and Harrie Siertsema (Delagoa Trading, collector and art patron).
For information, please contact Jan Bhuda on 083 719 1731 or e-mail John Anthony Boerma at