Entries open for National Contemporary Art Award

Avant-garde artists from around New Zealand are being invited to enter their works for one of the countrys top modern arts prizes.
The $20,000 National Contemporary Art Award regularly attracts art that challenges the viewer and compels them to consider social and environmental issues, as well as the very nature of what constitutes art.

Entries open on Thursday and close at 1pm on Wednesday, June 2. The winner, as well as the recipient of a $5000 runner-up prize and two merit awards worth $1000 each will be announced at an event on August 27.

Last years competition was abandoned due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however the judge for that event, Dowse Art Museum director Karl Chitham, has made himself available to judge this years event too.


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The finalists works will be exhibited at Waikato Museum from August 28 until November 28.

People wanting to enter can do so on the museums website.

Launched in 2000 by the Waikato Society of Arts and managed since 2006 by Waikato Museum, the competition each year brings works regarded as the countrys best examples of contemporary art to Hamilton.

The award has a rich history of intriguing and quirky artworks being selected for inclusion - or even winning the competition.

In 2014 it was Wellington artist Deanna Dowling's work Tell Someone if Something Happens - a shelf with a fluorescent tube delicately perched on its edge - that took top honours.

A cream-coloured bus shelter created by Auckland artists Michael Parr and Blaine Western won the 2012 competition.

And in 2009 fellow Auckland artist Dane Mitchell took out the award for his piece Collateral: packaging from other award entries that he instructed gallery staff to throw together as his exhibit.

Hamilton firms Tompkins Wake and Chow:Hill Architects are co-sponsoring the award.

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