Fana Tshabalala, the 2013 Standard Bank Young Artist for dance. Picture: SUZY BERNSTEIN
Fana Tshabalala, the 2013 Standard Bank Young Artist for dance. Picture: SUZY BERNSTEIN

SIX young South African artists were honoured in Johannesburg on Thursday night when they were named as the winners of the 2013 Standard Bank Young Artist Awards.

The awards are presented each year to young local artists who are "either on the threshold of national acclaim or whose artistic excellence has enabled them to make international breakthroughs", the organisers said.

This year, an award for performance art was presented for the first time.

"This year’s group of Standard Bank Young Artists are celebrated for their vibrant and cutting-edge creativity, their amazing intricacy of creative expression and their enormous talents, which contribute to developing a stronger and more prosperous creative economy, and to making a significant contribution towards defining our country’s cultural identity," said National Arts Festival director Ismail Mahomed.

The winners are:

Dance: Fana Tshabalala

Music: Runette Botha

Visual art: Mary Sibande

Drama: Prince Lamla

Jazz: Shane Cooper

Performance art: Anthea Moys

Mr Mahomed said the awards "gave recognition to the trajectory that their professions are taking to reflect the multifarious ways in which these artists work and to recognise the excellence of their work".

As part of their prize, the winners will feature on the main programme of the 2013 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, from June 27 to July 7, where they will be able to première new work.

They are also given opportunities to represent South Africa on international stages.

Mandie van der Spuy, Standard Bank head of arts and jazz sponsorship, said: "Apart from ensuring that South Africa’s artistic heritage is preserved, we see our investment in the arts as a significant contributor to the social cohesion of our diverse cultures while contributing to the local economy."