Celebrating a group of talented students who have achieved remarkable success by instilling artistic flair into their projects.

At the very core of artistic creation are the talented individuals who are driven by creative and innovative solutions. This is why the PG Bison 1.618 Awards were held in October at the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG).

Upon arrival, guests were presented with a gallery which had been transformed by Two by Two Art Studio, resulting in a graffiti-inspired commentary on the reality the venue faces. World-class artists’ names (all of whose works form part of the gallery’s vast collection) were emblazoned on the walls in the modern extension, enabling guests to understand the immense artistic value housed within the walls of JAG.

What also made the venue so fitting was the fact that it is the very space that this year’s student competition was based upon. Their 2014 brief required the students to redesign the modern extension of JAG, taking into consideration:
•    The display of artwork;
•    Visitors’ interaction with the art, and with each other;
•    The principles of heritage work as outlined in The Heritage Act;
•    The Burra Charter (ICOMOS Charter on the Interpretation and Presentation of Cultural sites);
•    International Museum Standards (IMS).

The top ten finalists’ work was presented on large, raw SupaWood boards, complete with a personalised stencil of each student’s face. Furthermore, each winner’s name was announced during a captivating presentation hosted by Masasa Mbangeni.

List of 2014 Winners:
•    First Place: Bernadine Pretorius from the Design School of South Africa. With a prize valued at R120 000, Bernadine and her lecturer, Anneke Allers, won an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2015 Furniture Fair in Milan, Italy.
•    Second Place: Ryan Draver from Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He won an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2015 Design Indaba in Cape Town, as well as R3 000 in cash.
•    Third Place: The award went to Carleen Conroy, also from the Design School of South Africa, and R10 000 in cash.

This year, all remaining Top Ten Finalists received a cash prize of R2 000 each.

Gary Chaplin, CEO of PG Bison, presented the prizes to the winners. “This competition requires one overriding principle from the students: brilliant design concepts,” he highlighted. “Once again, we were very pleased with the exciting, original thought applied to this challenging brief.”

Gary also confirmed and announced that PG Bison has added Du Pont’s Corian and Montelli solid surfacing to its range offering. This offers PG Bison the secured rights to distribute these solid surfacing products in South Africa and several other African countries.

Being recognised for something that is an inherent passion and talent is of more worth than any prize. It is the starting point to an exciting career as an artist – driven to attain ongoing excellence.