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The Cassirer Welz Award 2021 winner has been announced

Samuel Nnorom

Bag Factory Artists’ Studios, in partnership with Strauss & Co Fine Art Auctioneers, has announced the winner of the 2021 Cassirer Welz Award, Samuel Nnorom.  

Nnorom is a multi-talented artist who seeks to explore several materials. He holds a BAed  (sculpture major) from the University of Jos and is currently concluding an MFA in sculpture from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Nnorom was the winner of the national art competition organised by the National Gallery of Art in 2010 and 2012. He also won prizes in the 2016, 2017 and 2019 editions of the Life in My City Art Festival. He was first prize recipient (leatherwork category) of the Icreate Africa 2019. Nnorom has received invitations to important workshops and group exhibitions, including the international art workshop by IICD at the United States Embassy, Abuja (2019), Young Contemporary 2021, published in an international magazine, UK (zine, issue 11, artist responding to issues) 2021 and recipient of 2022 ROSL and Art House Residency London, and several others. He belongs to the New Nsukka School of Art and is currently exploring Ankara fabric to explore ideas surrounding bubbles while interrogating personal experiences that relate to sociopolitical issues in Africa.  

  • Samuel Nnorom
  • Samuel Nnorom
  • Samuel Nnorom
  • Samuel Nnorom

The selection jury, comprised of Bag Factory programmes manager Gcotyelwa Mashiqa, communications manager Zanele Kumalo, Strauss & Co executive director Susie Goodman and senior art specialist Wilhelm van Rensburg, who unanimously agreed that Nnorom’s multimedia sculptures are exceptional and that he will benefit hugely from the award for substantial creative and professional growth.   

As the winner of the 2021 Cassirer Welz Award, Nnorom receives a ten-week residency at the Bag Factory from January – March 2022 and R25 000 towards the artist’s residency stipend, materials, and production costs. The residency culminates in a solo exhibition of newly created work at the Bag Factory opening on March 2022.

No Matter, 2021, Ankara fabric, 56 x 64 x 2inches
Mgbedike, 2021, Fabric and Fibre Glass, 48 x 48 x 7 inches

Now in its eleventh year, the award has given emerging artists an opportunity to showcase their talents to a broader audience. ‘Since its inception this award has seen the winners launch their careers and really start making a name for themselves within the South Africa art market,’ says Goodman. 

Previous winners include artists such as Blessing Ngobeni, Nompumelelo Ngoma, Tshepo Mosopa, Asanda Kupa, Thato Nhlapho, Richard “Specs” Ndimande and Keneilwe Mokoena.

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