A very proud moment for Mongezi Ncaphayi, who will be returning to Amsterdam this Spring to start his residency at the Thami Mnyele Foundation as part of the Thami Mnyele Award.
Established in 1992, the Thami Mnyele Foundation runs a unique three month artists-in-residence program in Amsterdam. The main objective of the Foundation is to advance cultural exchange between artists from Africa, the Netherlands and Amsterdam in particular. To this aim, the Foundation engages African artists of all disciplines of contemporary visual art (painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, video, film, audio and multi media) to work for three months in the Thami Mnyele Foundation studio, located in an old school building in the centre of Amsterdam. The Thami Mnyele Foundation artists-in-residence-program is therefore an ideal opportunity for concentration on work, reflection, research and discussion.
The Foundation is named in commemoration of the South African artist and freedom fighter Thami Mnyele, who inspired Dutch artists to set up an artists-in-residence program. The first years the focus was only on artists from South Africa, but since 1997 artists from all African countries can apply. Thami Mnyele artists-in-residence program participants are generally artists who have completed art school training and have a few years of independent professional experience, but that is not always a perquisite. The average age of participants is currently thirty. In the past, participants have come from: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Angola, Benin, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Benin, Senegal, Egypt, Nigeria, Mozambique, Zambia, Mauritius, Uganda.
The artist in residence receives a grant for living expenses and a budget for material and the travelling expenses to and from the Netherlands. In order to promote this cultural exchange, the Thami Mnyele Foundation mediates in meetings with artists and people associated with the Dutch art world. The selection of participants is done on a regular basis by an independent selection committee of experts, which is appointed by the Board of the Foundation. Mongezi is honoured to tread upon the heels of an impressive list of inspiring and established artists.