The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) annual Res4Res student art competition has been revamped this year and will be presented in an exhibition-based format. The popular festival is aimed at students in residence. The final exhibition will take place in the last week of September.
The festival aims to attract a diverse expression of creative talent at all skills levels from the UCT residence community. The title of this year’s art festival is “Res4Res: Our Stories”. The theme, “Our experiences in residence”, encourages students to produce art that reflects their stories, narratives and experiences as residence students.
The broad categories of works included in previous festivals no longer apply. Artworks will be presented against white walls. All material types are welcome. A narrowed list of criteria will also be used to evaluate winners, said Shaun Mahabeer, the creative curator of the festival.
Over the next four weeks, Mahabeer will guide and support entrants ahead of the exhibition; useful coaching for creative students, whether beginners or not. He will also advise entrants on media, experimentation, context, framing, display, and writing artist statements.
“These are essential skills for any artist to have in today’s world, whether or not art is your career,” he said.
Positive leadership and creativity
Res4Res is closely aligned with the Residence Life Division’s positive leadership model: one that encompasses four essential principles for leading and building teams: the cultivation of a positive climate, positive relationships, positive communication and positive meaning, said Sean Abrahams, specialist at Residence Life in the Department of Student Affairs (DSA) and a PhD candidate who has published on the subject.
In cultivating a positive climate, Res4Res provides a platform for fostering a positive and inclusive artistic community at UCT, reflected in diverse artistic expressions and each individual’s unique creativity, said Frank Karigambe, coordinator for Governance and Programme Support (first-tier residence) within the Residence Life Division in the DSA.
“To cultivate positive relationships, the festival gives participants an opportunity to build meaningful connections with fellow artists, experts and the broader UCT community,” he added.
Cultivating positive communication is built through the interactive nature of the process, he said. In terms of relasing positive meaning, Karigambe said the festival was a platform for artists to produce works that reflect their artistic visions, stories and perspectives.
“They will be contributing to a rich tapestry of positive meaning that resonates with the UCT community and beyond.”
The exhibition will be open to viewers during the last week of September from 16:00 to 20:00 at a venue to be confirmed. The winners will be announced on 6 October and there will be Takealot vouchers worth R6 000 to be shared among them.Finalists and winners will be chosen via a UCT residence community online vote.
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