The SA Taxi Foundation Art Award is unique in the South African visual arts community in that it requires artists to create a piece of visual art and then interpret and transport the artwork onto a minibus taxi decal which requires the skill of design and this is where the significance of the award lies.
Artists need to go beyond their normal focus on expressing their particular vision in an original artwork. They must also work to a commercial design brief. In the process, the broader public is exposed to art via minibus taxis that carry the decal design on a range of routes across the country. In addition to innovating at the level of the visual arts, the SA Taxi Foundation Art Award has called for a new approach to the production of decals for minibus taxis. Normally, as advertising, decals cover a single panel or the back door of the vehicle. The award artworks, however, cover much larger areas of the vehicle and artists are involved in brainstorming with the SA Taxi Media division to help them redesign their original decal concepts to optimise the way the decal wraps around a vehicle.
Each year’s winner of the competition receives a cash prize of R50 000 and each of the five finalists receives a cash prize of R10 000. The Top 30 semi-finalists’ exhibition is displayed at the Lizamore & Associates Gallery in Rosebank, Johannesburg, 6 April 2017 to 29 April 2017. The six winning decal designs are then displayed on 10 minibus taxis each, which travel different areas of the country for a period of six months.