‘What’s on The Menu for Leopards in the Cape’ - Art for Predators & Prey

‘What’s on The Menu for Leopards in the Cape’ - Art for Predators & Prey
Published: 01 July 2019

On Wednesday, 20 June, judges gathered once again at Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards to select 14 winning artworks for this year's art competition. Competition was fierce, and though there were fewer entries than last year everyone was astounded and challenged by the increase in the quality of the art works submitted. The theme for 2019 was ‘Predator’s & Prey – What’s on the Menu for Leopards in the Cape’. The judges first examined each piece to see if it was relevant to leopards in the Cape and then evaluated the image quality for the eligible age spectrum. It was a tough day at the office, and there was plenty of animated debate before the judges made their final selection.  Joining the Cape Leopard Trust team on the esteemed panel of judges was Anele van der Merwe from Bridgestone South Africa, Desiree Smith, Cape Town artist and inspiration behind the company ‘Whimsical Collection’, and two representatives from our partner, Leopard's Leap Family Vineyards, Marie-Louise Oosthuizen and Melissa Bower.

Nine overall winners were chosen from the various age categories, and these lucky youngsters will have the chance to join the education team on a camp to Wortelgat, Stanford in October. Entries from a further five runners-up will also feature in the 2020 calendar, winning a consolation prize of a presentation at their school, and a copy of the finished calendar.

The innovative young creatives had to investigate what leopards eat and express it through their art. Education Coordinator, Hadley Lyners, explained: “the goal of this year’s art competition was to allow young artists to explore and question the inter-dependency of predators and prey in the bigger picture of ecosystem health. It has been wonderful to see how some of the regular entrants have grown in their abilities as artists, and how they interpret and explore the themes. It is quite evident that good research had been done and with it an improvement in the knowledge about leopards. Some artists have evolved with the competition since it started, and this can be seen in the overall artistic skill and interpretation of the theme”. Certainly, the returning judges agreed that art plays a vital role in developing an understanding around tangible environmental challenges, particularly now in the Anthropocene and that this insight through art will ultimately aid conservation.

The nine winners have won a trip to one of the Cape Leopard Trust wilderness camps with a friend of their choice. In no particular order, the lucky campers are: 

  • Megan Wightman (Rustenburg Girls Junior)
  • Naseehah Essack (Kiddies Create Art School)
  • Jade van Tonder  (Kiddies Create Art School)
  • Katie Swain (Herschel School)
  • Khalid Razack (Kiddies Create Art School)
  • Henko Singleton (Kiddies Create Art School)
  • Lisa Viret (DSK School)
  • Penny Moller (Home School)
  • Jemma Gill (Home School)

The following runners-up will each receive a copy of the published calendar and a presentation at their school:

  • Ilsemari Coetzee (Kiddies Create Art School)
  • Connor Mileham (Muizenberg Junior)
  • Hanna Moller (Home School)
  • Lira De Vaal ((Kiddies Create Art School))
  • Ehryn Storm (Muizenberg Junior)

One young artist, whose outstanding talent has brought inspiration to the competition over the years, will next year be invited to join the panel of guest judges. Hannah Moller will by then have breached the upper age limit making her ineligible for the art competition. Joining us as our first ‘artist judge’ we hope to encourage her to become a valuable leopard ambassador.

We would like to thank our kind hosts, Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards, for supporting the art competition, and the judges for donating their time so freely. We are excited to see the 2020 calendar when it comes off the press!

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