+27 51 447 9609
36 Aliwal Street
Bloemfontein, South Africa
Back to News


South African visual artists are invited to submit their solo exhibition proposal to be considered for placement on the exhibition calendar of Oliewenhuis Art Museum.

Artists that meet our criteria for a solo exhibition will be shortlisted for placement on our calendar at one of our suitable gallery venues found at Oliewenhuis Art Museum. Artists should familiarise themselves with the various gallery options available. Outdoor exhibitions can also be accommodated within reason.



 If you want to know more, please attend our online briefing session. A non- compulsory briefing session is scheduled as follows:

Date: 4 September 2023
Time: 12h00 to 12h30
Venue: Zoom

Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/93025686139?pwd=d0RZc1lwY0ljTGJQZG5ORkQ5cjNuZz09

Meeting ID: 930 2568 6139

Pass code: 718072

If you do not attend the briefing session, you may still submit a proposal.


Oliewenhuis Art Museum is a satellite museum of the National Museum.

Oliewenhuis Art Museum’s mission is to collect, conserve and exhibit works of art which represent the heritage of South African art on behalf of and to the advantage and edification of the entire community. In addition, the Museum has committed itself to setting standards of quality and clarity both for its collections and exhibitions. By collecting and exhibiting the best work it can afford, the Museum fosters in the community a sense of pride and ownership of the Museum’s holdings, programmes, and goals.


Late proposals will not be considered and be disqualified immediately.

All proposals received on or before the deadline will be evaluated as follows:

Stage 1


Pre-screening committee

All applications will be pre-screened to see whether all the compulsory documents listed have been submitted.

Non-adherence to the below criteria will result in the application becoming disqualified.

Evaluation committee An evaluation committee will score each proposal based on merit. Proposals that have merit and score 60 and above will be recommended for placement on the 24 Month exhibition


Award The delegated official will finalise the artists selected for solo exhibitions on the 24month calendar. In the unlikely event that there are too many qualifying artists to be accommodated preference will be given to artist as detailed in paragraph 3.3.


All proposals will be pre- screened to ensure all the compulsory documents have been submitted:

No Compulsory documents
1 Application form completed and signed by the artist.
2 Copy of South African Identity document

Artist is required to check all compulsory documents were submitted by the due date or any extended due date. Unfortunately, if the above documents are not submitted the proposal will not be evaluated further.


 The criteria below will guide the functionality assessment of the artists proposal and experience. The evaluation committee will use these criteria as a guideline to evaluate the proposals. The scoring will guide the allocation of points.

No Selection Criteria Weighting Scoring
1 South Africa citizen.

The artist may be living in South Africa or overseas as long as at least one of the above stated criteria are demonstrable.

5 ·      No SA Identity document is a disqualifying criterion.

·      5 points to be awarded to all those that have SA Identity document

2 Experience of Artist producing visual art post completion of tertiary studies or art training. 10 ·      1= Below 5 years

·      2= 5 yrs

·      3= 6 yrs

·      4= 7 yrs

·      5= 8 yrs+

3 Experience of Artists participating in exhibitions.

The exhibition can be group or solo, local, or international in the visual arts field.

10 ·      1= Below 2 group exhibitions

·      2= 2 group exhibitions

·      3= 3 group exhibitions or 1 solo

·      4= 4 exhibitions of which 3 can be group exhibitions

·      5= 5 or more exhibitions, of which 3 can be group exhibitions.

4 Awards and Recognitions for Visual Arts. Gravitas of Artist in the visual arts field.

Local and International awards and recognitions which the artist was recognised as a finalist or winner of the award

20 ·      1= No awards or recognition

·      2= Finalist in at least 1 tertiary or provincial award

·      3= Winner in at least 1 tertiary or provincial award – 2

·      4= Finalist in at least 1 national award

·      5= Winner in at least 1 national award or winner in significant international award or multiple national awards

3 Artist proposal for solo exhibition on visual arts

The evaluation will consider the proposal itself for the solo exhibition including the relevance of the message and significance in the South African context. Although some themes bear repeating, more marks will be scored for uniqueness or seldom explored concepts.

15 ·      1= No proposal or Exhibition Proposal below par

·      2= Exhibition Proposal Theme is superficial or has minimal connection to social concepts

·      3= Exhibition Proposal Theme refers subtly to the social concepts and concerns

·      4= Exhibition Proposal Theme is unique and will fill a gap

·      5= Exhibition Proposal Theme is unique and will fill a gap, historically and culturally significant

3 Availability of quality artworks to be exhibited.

At least 10 quality artworks are completed and available for the exhibition

10 ·      1= No completed artworks or artworks will not be available

·      2= Below 10 completed artworks available

·      3= 10 completed artworks available

·      4= 12 completed artworks available

·      5= 15 or more completed artworks available

4 Technical quality of artwork Only artworks that are technically sound, resistant to deterioration and are easy to handle (not fragile) when being stored, installed, packaged and transported will be considered for exhibition. The museum reserves the right not to consider artworks that are fragile/ hazardous/ or distasteful. 30 1= Artworks are not technically sound

2= Artworks are technically sound, but exhibition requirements are not clear, or Museum cannot physically exhibit

3= Artworks are technically sound and can be exhibited

4= Artworks are technically sound, unique and pose important cultural experiences for our patrons

5= Artworks are technically sound and 1 or more may be nationally significant to be kept as heritage objects

Total weighting 100

3.3. AWARD

 All artists that score 60 points or above will be considered by the CEO and recommended to Council to be considered for solo exhibitions at Oliewenhuis Art Museum in accordance with the exhibition calendar for 24 months. Correspondence and contracting will follow once approved.

The Museum will endeavour to accommodate all artists who meet the 60 thresholds in the available exhibition spaces and in accordance with the calendar. Although every effort will be made to accommodate the dates that artists are available, consideration should be given to the fact that the Museum works with multiple exhibitions and cannot guarantee availability of exhibition venues when artists are available.

In the unlikely event that there are space constraints on the 24-month exhibition calendar, preference will be applied as follows: 

  • Firstly, historically disadvantaged/ disabled artists who meet or exceed the selection criteria threshold but have not had a solo exhibition at Oliewenhuis Art Museum.
  • Secondly all, artists who have not had a solo exhibition at Oliewenhuis Art Museum in the last 10 years will receive preference. This criterion will only be imposed to afford more people an opportunity if there are too many qualifying applicants.

4.      APPEALS

 No appeals are available from a decision of Council. Decisions are final.


What if the artist is deceased and meets the criteria for a solo exhibition?

A separate letter of motivation must be done by the person legally responsible for the artworks and to ensure they are made available for exhibition.

Is the opportunity only for Free State artists?

No. The museum is a national museum and not a provincial museum. All South African artists that meet the criteria may apply.

How long will the exhibition be?

Exhibitions normally run from about 4 weeks to 10 weeks depending on the exhibition calendar. Artists are to make themselves available for the exhibition opening and usually a walkabout held in the same week. Correspondence will be entered into with successful artists.

Will the museum pay for the transport of the artworks?

The museum will pay for the transport of the artworks from the artist studio in South Africa and return same when the exhibition is taken down.

Will the artist have to sign loan forms?

The artist can choose to loan the artworks to the museum for the duration of the exhibition. If a loan agreement is made it will be in writing and signed by the artists and CEO. The Museum will arrange insurance of the artworks on the premises and provide the artist with such details.

What permissions will be needed by the museum?

Permission for the use of images of the artwork in promotional and educational materials in print and electronic media is a condition of the exhibition.


The decision of the Council will be final and ONLY successful applicants will be contacted about placement on the exhibition calendar and collection and transport of artwork to the exhibition venue in due course. There is no appeal process if an artist is not happy that he/she was not selected.

Changes to the solo exhibition proposal

Although small changes to the proposed exhibition can be made after award, the Museum reserves the right to withdraw approval if the artists want to make substantial changes to the approved proposal after award.


 For more information about Oliewenhuis Art Museum visit www.nasmus.co.za.

Queries about this invitation must be submitted in writing to the publicart@nasmus.co.za

Read the National Museum POPI Act Policy


Applications must be sent to: publicart@nasmus.co.za.

 S Snell

Chief Executive Officer
National Museum

Application For A Solo Exhibition

Download HERE!


© 2019 National Museum, Bloemfontein, South Africa – All Rights Reserved
Website development by Digital Platforms