About the project
The Strokes of Genius project aims to empower people through the visual arts, promote new entrants and identify latent talent, and help those lacking in expertise and experience to bring their works to market.
Strokes of Genius was conceived to realize the potential inherent to the untapped arts and culture economic sector. South Africa has a wealth of artistic talent and we need to harness this talent and produce more world class artists from an early age. Art has the potential to drive and develop a “new economy” and the Shoprite Checkers supermarket group has recognized this potential as it will create jobs and contribute to competitiveness that will ultimately drive the Cultural Industries.
The Shoprite Checkers Strokes of Genius project - a project for the development of fine arts and crafts from Africa, presented in partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture and the Department of Trade and Industry, provides artists and craft workers with the opportunity to gain recognition for their talent by exposing their work to local and international buyers through a visual online gallery.
The Strokes of Genius project first launched in 2007 with a focus on the promotion of emerging painters. The best artworks from emerging artists who submitted their paintings online were auctioned off at an auction in November 2007. Fifteen young artists successfully sold their works, with two artworks fetching R30 000 each - the highest closing bid for emerging artists. These were Rainbow Nation, an acrylic portrait by 35-year-old Bloemfontein artists Victor Geduldt; and Angel, an oil portrait by 23-year-old Hermanus artist Wayne Wyngaard.
Through the recognition gained from their involvement with Strokes of Genius these two artists have gone on to become successful public artists in their own right, exhibiting their works, on invitation, in well-known South African galleries and art events.
In 2009 the Strokes of Genius project expanded its focus to include the promotion of not only art, but also fine crafts from across Africa, that include a variety of craft products such as smoke-fired pottery, leather products, ceramics, decorative lamshades, beadwork, mosaics, wire and wood sculptures and other traditional African craftware and much more.
THE SCHOOLS ART COMPETITION
As part of its commitment to promote the development of art and culture amongst young people, the Shoprite Checkers Strokes of Genius project launched an art competition for secondary schools in May 2009. Bonola Kavula, a grade 11 learner from Kimberley Girls High School in the Northern Cape, was announced as the national winner and with her beautiful painting t earned herself a R20 000 scholarship towards further studies in art, and was also rewarded with R10 000 for her school.
This year (2012) the Schools Competition will allow students to submit notonly paintings, but also sketches, and winners of the competition will again receive a contribution towards futhering their art studies, as well as a contribution towards the development of their schools’ art programmes.