Local talented artists, architects, jewellery and fashion designers are set to benefit largely at the forthcoming PPC Imaginarium Competition that will be hosted in Zimbabwe for the first time with the winner expected to walk away with R100 000.
The first and second runner up will get R50 000 and R15 000 respectively.
The competition which has been running for four years in South Africa seeks to promote, guide, and profile emerging artists who create unique artwork using concrete of popular brand PPC Cement.
The grand finale of the competition will be held at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe with an exhibition in May.
The organisers of the competition hosted a two day workshop last week at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe where local artists where equipped about the capabilities of the cement and were trained on how to make art products with concrete.
The South African PPC team also conducted the same workshops in Mutare and Bulawayo over the weekend. Architect Daniel Van der Merwe who is the brainchild of the competition said he was happy to be in Zimbabwe to share skills with local artists.
"I came up with this idea about five years ago when I was approached by PPC. The main idea is to support emerging artists in Africa realise their potential through their imaginations using concrete.
"We have come to share and impart our skills with the artists here so that they create amazing pieces they will submit for the competition. Most artists were used to use granite or wood to create things but things are changing," he said.
The competition has spread its wings to a number of countries that include Zambia, Botswana, Rwanda and Ethiopia. National Gallery director Raphael Chikukwa welcomed the competition, saying it will uplift the face of the art in Zimbabwe.
"We hope the workshop guided the competitors in their work so that they can continue to play their part in producing works that reflect a diversified aspect of the society.
"We are grateful to the involvement of PPC in art and design as this shows how art is not limited to the artists and we are confident this will encourage other business organisations to be more involved in the art industry and elevate it," he said.
One of the beneficiaries of the programme, contemporary artist Munyaradzi Mazarise who is also a teacher at the National Gallery art school said the introduction of the workshop will open avenues for him.
"I have been in this field for over 18 years and I make different types of artwork but I was amazed to learn that I can make the same stuff using concrete and casting moulds. Applying this knowledge will definitely put my work on another class where they are few competitors," he said.