The 2018 Cape Leopard Trust’s Annual Art Competition

The 2018 Cape Leopard Trust’s Annual Art Competition
Published: 05 September 2018

Themed “Leopards: Surviving against all odds” the 2018 art competition aimed to create awareness about the important role that predators play in our diverse eco-systems. Given the recent drought challenges and habitat loss that most animals are faced with, we particularly wanted participants to highlight the threats to leopards.

This year, without fail, the competition entrants blew us out of the water once again with their absolutely fantastic entries. The level of thinking, artistry and overall creativity makes us confident that there is hope for the future of leopards if this is what the youth of today are capable of. We received enquiries from afar afield as the Limpopo Province and the Eastern Cape of people wanting to enter the competition. We received many entries in the 10-12 age category especially and we were cursed by the judges for leaving them with the extremely difficult task of choosing the overall winners. Hadley believes that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and since everyone sees things differently, he felt that it would be unfair of the education team to leave out certain entries. No doubt the judges got to experience the challenge.

Leopard’s Leap Vineyards were kind enough to provide their venue for judging purposes and with all the entries received we had to extend the display area to the restaurant in order to complete the judging process. Situated in South Africa’s prime wine lands area, Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards boasts comprehensive, modern premises, neighbouring the town of Franschhoek, the gourmet capital of South Africa. Alongside its primary role as a wine producer, Leopard’s Leap has developed rapidly as a tourist destination with an attractive offering. They have a strong commitment to the conservation of the magnificent Cape Mountain Leopard through sponsorship of the Cape Leopard Trust, which seeks to protect this endangered predator from extinction. Leopard’s Leap manager, Marie-Louise Oosthuizen, was most helpful and participated as one of the judges.

This year the CLT judging team were also joined by the ever illustrious Anele van der Merwe from Bridgestone, our competition sponsors. Bridgestone, through their support of the art competition and by virtue of sponsoring CLT’s vehicles’ tyre needs, contributes towards building a sustainable society by balancing operations with the environment, being in harmony with nature, and improving the quality of life for all.

Our third guest judge was the very enigmatic Deziree Smith, artist and owner of the Whimsical Collection, a business that promotes the plight of endangered African animals through their artworks and various other products. Deziree was so impressed by the quality of the children’s art that she donated some of her own money at the end towards 2 very beautiful artwork pieces and even donated some of her work to the winners of each age category.

We were even joined by visitors to the restaurant, who came over to have a look and they engaged with the judges trying to convince them of what they thought were the best. Nearly all the bystanders asked us how we managed to choose the winners out of all the amazing artworks. Next year we will certainly consider bringing in a judging opportunity where the general public can give their input. After a lot of back and forth, where the judges motivated their choices, the consensus was eventually reached and the winners were chosen. The winners for this year’s art competition, in no particular order, are:

Ages 10-12

  • Emma Hayes
  • Maia Birch
  • Stephanie Chen

Ages 13-14

  • Jemma Gill
  • Liam Kloppers
  • Annabelle-Marcette Boonzaaier

Ages 15-16

  • Penny Moller
  • Kauthar Ryland
  • Kelsey Julies

The 9 winners (3 winners from 3 different age categories) will have the opportunity to attend an environmental education camp, with a friend of their choice, from Friday, 12th – Sunday, 14th October 2018 where they will experience the Cederberg first hand, and explore and learn about wilderness. Each winner will receive a copy of the 2019 calendar featuring their artwork, which will be presented when our environmental educators visit their schools to do a presentation about leopards and other animals of the Western Cape as part of the prize.

Runners-up also get calendars and a presentation at their schools. The five runners-up are:

5 runners-up

  • Ava Retief
  • Noah Allerton
  • Amsel Jacques
  • Tashrique Dryden
  • Noah De Goede

On behalf of the competition sponsors, Bridgestone and the Cape Leopard Trust we want to thank each and every one of the artists who contributed their much valued time and effort to produce such amazing artworks. We want to encourage you all to continue doing the amazing work that you do. The quality of the work was so good and there were pieces that some of the visitors to Leopard’s Leap said that they would hang on their walls. These, although very good, did not match up to the criteria as well as the winners did, but were nevertheless fantastic contributions. Two of the artworks that did not make the finals were sold and therefore those young artists have already contributed towards supporting leopard conservation in the Western Cape.

We look forward to next year’s competition and want to encourage the budding artists to start practicing their art now already. Boys and girls, “Start your engines!”

Article was written by: Hadley Lyners (Education Project Coordinator)

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