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Sanlam Portrait Award

We celebrate South Africa’s top artists with an annual competition, the only one of its kind in South Africa.

While South African art reflects our country’s social and political evolution, our clients’ passion and investment interest in art is also growing. This is why we established the Sanlam Portrait Award (previously known as the SPI National Portrait Award) in partnership with the Rust-en-Vrede art gallery.

This competition gives top local artists the opportunity to get invaluable exposure – the top 40 entries are displayed at exhibitions throughout South Africa – and the winner walks away with R100 000. Investors have the opportunity to buy the artwork that is on display.

Closing date for entries: 13 July 2017

View the Rules and Entry Form
More information

Heather Gourlay-Conyngham

The 2015 Winner

Cape Town artist John Pace has won the 2015 Sanlam Portrait Award for his portrait entitled After the Match (100 x 80cm, oil on canvas). Pace’s winning portrait beat 809 adjudicated entries to the top prize of R100 000. It will join 39 other selected entries in an exhibition to be held at Rust-en-Vrede Gallery until 8 October, where after the 40 works will tour South Africa in an exhibition presented in collaboration with the Sanlam Art Collection.

John Pace (56) resides in the Southern suburbs of Cape Town and has been in the advertising and design industry for the last 30 years. He’s been running his own design practice for the past ten years. Pace lives by the motto "mediocrity is expensive" and enjoys painting and drawing in his spare time. He attended the Durban Technikon from 1978- 1981 where he completed one year in Fine Art and two years in graphic design. He graduated with a Diploma in Graphic Design.

Find out more about the 2015 winner here.

View the top 40 entries for 2015


Peter Mookman

Peter Monkman

Peter is an established artist who has won numerous awards including ‘Future Face’ at the Science Museum (2005) and the Threadneedle Prize for painting and sculpture (2009, 2008 and 2013).

Carl Jeppe

Carl Jeppe

Carl is an accomplished artist that’s participated in over 80 group exhibitions. He has served on the judging panels for several competitions, including New Signatures, Absa Atelier and Art Alive.

Nkule Mabaso

Nkule Mabaso

Nkule is the founder of the Newcastle Creative Network in KZN. Over and above curating shows, she has exhibited work in Denmark, Switzerland, South Africa, Germany and Zimbabwe.

Art Advisory Service

We offer independent, expert advice on fine art as an investment. Art as an investment provides a natural hedge against inflation as a growth asset in its own right.

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