From coins to canvas, South African Mint gives independent artists a voice

Centurion, South Africa – 11 September 2019: The South African Mint, a wholly owned subsidiary of the South African Reserve Bank has minted a partnership with LATITUDES Art Fair (LATITUDES), a new art platform that brings together a curated selection of artists, galleries, independent curators and institutions. Promoted by an all-female quintet, the LATITUDES seeks to expand and strengthen audiences for contemporary African art and create a richer understanding of African cultural production globally.

Driven by the desire to go beyond traditional sponsorships into cultural investment, the South African Mint will lend corporate support for the curated exhibition of early career artists with no gallery representation called INDEPENDENT, bringing long-term benefits to not only the local artists, but also providing a platform for its own design mastery.

INDEPENDENT, presented by the South African Mint, will debut at the first edition of the fair which will be taking place at the Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton from 12 to 15 September 2019.

The INDEPENDENT will champion the works of emerging and unrepresented artists, and aim to introduce their work to galleries, buyers and art industry professionals from around the African continent participating in the fair. The 2019 SA25 range of coins highlighted South African Mint’s influential role on the local art scene through its collaboration with six artists to commemorate 25 years of South Africa’s constitutional democracy.

The five R2 coins pay homage to Children’s Rights; Right to Education; Environmental Rights; Freedom of Movement and Residence; and Freedom of Religion, Belief and Opinion. The R5 coin’s design shows a que of people waiting to cast their vote and features the words ‘Let us live and strive for freedom’, which originate from the South African national anthem.

The South African Mint has made available a special 6-coin collector’s set made up of the five R2 coins and R5 coin which are currently in circulation.

“The South African Mint is a purveyor of art. From the time we minted our first coins to the recent SA25 series celebrating 25 years of SA’s constitutional democracy, our coins have quintessentially been the canvas for artists to take their art public,” says Gerda Janse van Vuuren, Acting Managing Director of the South African Mint .

“We are particularly proud that we will be showing all the SA25 circulation coins minted to date, together, for the first time at the LATITUDES Art Fair. We are also excited to highlight that four of the six coins were designed by talented, emerging women artists.”

Be one of the first people to grab this commemorative set from the INDEPENDENT area at the fair. The set can also be purchased at the South African Mint’s retail store in Centurion and various other outlets listed on the SA25 website.

The SA25 coins are the culmination of a public engagement programme formulated to solicit coin themes and designs from members of the South African public. Born-frees were invited to provide input on their perspectives on democracy, freedom and culture in South Africa as we know it today. These unique perspectives informed the final coin design concepts.

“What drew us to this partnership is that INDEPENDENT, like our approach to the SA25 coins, not only showcases and invests in artists whose careers are about to take off, but also provides young talent an opportunity to create additional visibility for themselves,” adds Janse van Vuuren in conclusion.

“We are confident that our 2020 coin design competition will empower the young and talented artists to break into the competitive art world. Furthermore, we are confident that INDEPENDENT will also foster a genuine connection between the artist and arbiters of talent in the same way as the SA25 coins connected art and the public.”

South Africans should be able to find the SA25 coins in their change from retail stores and banks. For more information on the full SA25 commemorative range and details of the competition please visit or follow us on any of the following social media channels:

Twitter: @SAMint
Facebook: @SouthAfricanMint
Instagram: @southafricanmint

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