The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize, sponsored by EON Reality, celebrates the practices of leading contemporary artists from Africa and its diaspora and is a collaboration between Norval Foundation and The Sovereign Art Foundation. It grants the shortlisted artists an exhibition, as well as a separate solo exhibition for the winner, and awards financial prizes of R 525 000 South African Rand. It also aims to raise significant funds for the shortlisted artists and for Norval Foundation’s Educational Programme in an equal split.


1. To exhibit a balanced representation of significant voices in contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora.

2. To build knowledge and visibility of the diverse character and qualities of artists in the region or associated with it, as well as contribute to their wider international following.

​3. To raise significant funds for the artists and for Norval Foundation’s Education Programme.


Nomination and Shortlisting

The Prize invites contemporary artists, nominated by a group of independent art professionals who are largely based in Africa or closely associated with it, to each enter up to three artworks online. A judging panel comprised of leading art experts shortlist the 30 most accomplished artworks from a range of digital entries.


Exhibition and Artwork Auction

The 30 shortlisted artworks are then exhibited at Norval Foundation in Cape Town, where they are judged for a second time and voted on by the public. The judges scores are aggregated, and a Grand Prize winner is named. The other shortlisted artworks are auctioned, and proceeds split evenly between the artists and Norval Foundation. We encourage the Foundation’s patrons to bid on the shortlisted artworks.


Public Vote

To encourage engagement and increase exposure of the artists’ works, the general public are invited to cast a vote online or in person for their favourite artwork displayed in the exhibition. The artwork with the most votes is awarded the Public Vote Prize.


The Prizes

500 000 South African Rand, Grand Prize

25 000 South African Rand, Public Vote Prize

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