The public are now eligible to cast their vote for the artist they believe deserves to win the public choice award of the Phatshoane Henney New Breed Art competition. The competition, now in it’s second year, officially opened for public viewing last Thursday (05/10) at a function held at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum in Bloemfontein. A total of 40 outstanding artworks by 29 Free State artists are showcased at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum. From these artworks, the public can select their favourite to win the award. Of the chosen artworks, only five artists – of which one is determined by the public - can emerge as the 2017 competition winners. Viewing and voting opened on 5 October and can be done until 6 November. To vote, the public must simply visit the competition website at www.phinc.co.za/art. The website hosts a gallery of all 40 artworks and the respective artists’ profiles. The artist who receives the most online votes on the official website will win the Public Choice Award, worth R10 000 in prize money.The rest of the R100 000 prize money will be awarded to the overall winner, R20 000 to the runner-up and R10 000 each to the two merit award winners. Furthermore, all five winners will participate in the winners group exhibition that is to be held at the Gallery on Leviseur during the Vrystaat Kunstefees in 2018. Sam Moleko, director of Phatshoane Henney Attorneys, remarked that the quality of the entries that include paintings, drawings, sculptures and mixed media, are high. “I truly believe that we have again achieved what we set out to do at the start – to uncover emerging talent and provide a showcase for such talent.”He highlighted that, as important as uncovering new artists is, so too is the importance of growing awareness and interest in art amongst the wider public. “A contributory aim of the competition is to increase the visibility of artists and art amongst the public and make the accessibility of art a broader one. Our Public Choice Award category is central to this process. I encourage each of you to vote for your favourite artists on the website, thereby showing your support for these talented artists.“The winners will be announced at a prize-giving function on 9 November.