Initiative gives young artist a chance to shine

Marie Vogts and Dale Simpson announce the winners.

The winners of a design competition that will see the artists work on the take-away cups of the new Radisson RED hotel coming to the V&A Waterfront in September were announced at an awards ceremony held at the Youngblood Gallery in Bree Street on Thursday June 1.

The aim of the competition, titled The #REDexperiment, and organised by Radisson RED and Youngblood Africa Foundation, was to give up-and-coming South African creatives a career launch and an opportunity to see their work on the take-away cups and coasters of the new hotel.

The #REDexperiment winners, Micah Donnoli (coaster), Riekus Raaths (small cup) and Nkululeko Zulu (large cup) were each awarded R10 000. More than 100 entries were received for the three categories.

These winning designs will be transformed into actual beermat and coffee cup sleeves to be used in the OUIBar + KTCHN restaurant when the hotel launches.

Dale Simpson, the curator of Radisson RED Hotel, said the team had been “blown away” by the bold and energetic designs submitted by creatives from all over South Africa.

“The RED brand is completely inspired by an expressive and creative world, and we were looking for just that in the winning designs.”

Mr Simpson told the CapeTowner the hotel, which would be opening on September 12 at the Silo District, was the first of its kind in Africa. “What makes the hotel unique is that there will be all sorts of art from music to performances and exhibitions and a hotel. We would like to support up and coming artists.”

The hotel is right next to the Zeitz Mocaa Museum opening in the same month as the hotel, so the Silo has almost become like an art district.”

He said the Radisson RED hotel was a “chilled space”.

“There isn’t even a front desk,” he added. “We are very excited to have this one go up.

“When I first came to Cape Town, they told me the city was a creative space, and we are inspired by this. We want to make the hotel very Cape Town, and we’ve asked people to be part of our journey and create a Capetonian space for our guests.”

Marie Vogts, manager of the Youngblood Gallery, said she and Mr Simpson had met for coffee and it “snowballed from there”.

“Dale said he wanted to start a coffee section at the Radisson RED hotel. We started talking cups and decided, ‘Why don’t we turn it into a competition where we get locals to design the cups’?”

Ms Vogts, who was one of the judges, said it had been a tough call to narrow down the designs, but her and Mr Simpson’s clashing perspectives eliminated a few. “For instance, where I would love the design, Dale didn’t think it would work for branding. It was really tough.”

The Youngblood Gallery will house all #REDexperiment finalist designs for the duration of June. In addition to the #REDexperiment designs, other exhibiting artists featured at the gallery during the month include Robyn Pretorius, Juanita Oosthuizen and David Griessel – who are all showcasing red-inspired artwork. Furthermore, all designs will be displayed at the hotel’s grand opening event later this year.