SA Taxi Foundation Awards initiative is a 2016 BASA Awards finalist

SA Taxi Foundation Awards initiative is a 2016 BASA Awards finalist

The annual SA Taxi Foundation Art Awards, which is the only South African art award to encourage a cross-over between fine art and graphic design, has been nominated as a finalist in the BASA Awards – in the First Time Sponsor category.


The BASA Awards are sponsored jointly by Hollard and Business Day and are the only awards in South Africa that acknowledge business support for and partnerships in the arts.


The SA Taxi Foundation Art Awards require artists to produce an original work that can also be interpreted as a decal on minibus taxis, turning the ten taxis that each carry a decal from a finalist into mobile art galleries.


“Recognition by BASA of our focus on moving art and, therefore, on taking art in to the streets where the majority of South Africans can be exposed to it, is gratifying on many levels,” says SA Taxi Foundation director, Lishani Letchmiah.


“It highlights the fact that art is an expression of the society of its time and reflects back to those who are exposed to it an innovative view of their lives. By taking art to the streets, therefore, our awards are broadening art’s impact on society.


“Also, by encouraging the cross-over between fine art and graphic design, we’re opening doors for fine artists into the world of commerce. We’re helping them become comfortable working to a brief and proving to the world of business, which as a major consumer of the arts, is a major market for them that they have the skills to put creativity to work as a brand ambassador.


“In addition, by collaborating with our customers – minibus taxi operators – in moving the art around the community, our art awards also help to position the minibus tax industry as a patron of the arts and, therefore, as an important contributor to the psychological and emotional well being of society.


“So, being nominated as a BASA finalist is an public acknowledgement of innovation by us as a company, by our participating artists, and by the minibus taxi industry. It also acknowledges that art is a vehicle for empowerment, development, and social upliftment.”


The winner of the SA Taxi Foundation Art Award competition receives R50 000 and the top five finalists receive R10 000 each. The work of the Top 30 semi-finalists is featured at a leading gallery in Johannesburg.


Displaying the six winning decals on taxis for a period of six months has proved to be a marketing bonus for participating taxi operators, with passengers preferring to ride in taxis with decals.


Winners of the 19th BASA Awards will be announced on 19th September.