6 APRIL 2021

RMB announces 2021 ‘Talent Unlocked’ programme

Rand Merchant Bank is and has always been a strong believer in the arts. In particular, its primary goal is to help stimulate and directly support the creative economy. This means providing funding and resources that benefit the creators and enablers of the arts such as artists, gallerists, musicians, filmmakers, dancers – and a broad selection of arts-centric NGOs, with proven track records of collaborative talent development.

“We believe that art has a critical role to play in society, history and education,” says RMB Chief Marketing Officer Alison Badenhorst. “Art enriches our lives; it is economically viable and vital to a vibrant economy, and those who are key to its creation should be assisted in whatever sustainable way possible.”

In keeping with this philosophy, RMB has announced that applications for the annual Talent Unlocked programme are open. Talent Unlocked gives women artists the opportunity to participate in a skills development and arts mentorship programme to address professional practice and develop a comprehensive body of work.

 “The 2021 RMB Talent Unlocked is a mentorship and workshop programme to upskill artists in artwork production, audience development, financial management, proposal writing and entrepreneurship,” says RMB Creative Counsel Carolynne Waterhouse. “Mentorship includes individual critique and feedback from established art mentors and peers.”

This year’s programme will culminate in a curated showcase at the Everard Read CIRCA Gallery in Johannesburg, leading up to Women’s Day in August 2021.

Talent Unlocked requirements and criteria

RMB Talent Unlocked is an intensive programme. Successful applicants must be dedicated, respectful of deadlines and motivated to learn the business of the arts, whilst enriching and strengthening their artistic practice.

  •  This call is open to all women artists 21 years or older and has no age limit.
  • Applicants who work across a variety of mediums are encouraged to use innovative materials, as the selection committee will focus on a diversity of artworks, from painting to sculpture.
  • The 2021 programme is only open to artists based in South Africa.
  • Applicants are required to submit a PDF portfolio containing:
    • four to five works around a central theme/concept,
    • a short artist statement,
    • a motivation letter no more than 300 words,
    • a CV and biography.
  • Artists should have not participated in previous RMB Talent Unlocked
  • Artists should not have had a solo show nor be represented by a gallery.
  • Artists should be available for a portfolio review towards the end of April 2021 via video call, where they will be expected to present their portfolio.
  • Artists must commit to attending all peer mentoring sessions and workshops online or in person in Johannesburg. Dates to be confirmed.
  • All COVID-19 protocols will be observed.

 Application requirements:

  •  The application must be titled: namesurname_talentunlocked2021 and be no more than 10MB in size.
  • Applications must be sent to
  • Closing date for applications is 23 April 2021.
  • Successful applicants will be notified by 3 May 2021.

“Ideally, we endeavour to maximise the benefit of our arts collaborations for members of the creative economy, such as the women we assist through Talent Unlocked. This grass roots support is vital for the sustainability of the art sector, concludes Badenhorst.”



Joandra Griesel l Rand Merchant Bank l l 082 462 6741

RMB is a leading African Corporate and Investment Bank.