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A Concise History of the National Contemporary Art Award

The National Contemporary Art Award was initiated and administered by the Waikato Society of Arts (WSA). The exhibition has always been held at Waikato Museum, but it wasn't until 2006 that the administration of the award was handed over to Waikato Museum.

Formerly known as the Trust Waikato National Contemporary Art Award and The Bold Horizon National Contemporary Art Award, the award is now known as the National Contemporary Art Award. Trust Waikato were very generous sponsors until 2009. The Trust Waikato Collection boasts many winners' and finalists' works.  

2010 heralded a change and Bold Horizon, a brand development and marketing firm sponsored the  awards for two years.

In 2012, the well-known Waikato philanthropist and farmer, Barry Hopkins sponsored the award. Despite being very unwell, he attended the award ceremony and purchased one of the finalist's works, Meet me inside #2 by Natalie Guy.

2013 saw the return of the founders of the award.The WSA generously donated the first prize of $15,000.

In 2016 the prize for the award increased to $20,000 thanks to  joint sponsors Tompkins Wake and Chow:Hill, and three merit awards of $1,000 each were added to the prize pool.

Judges are met with the intrepid task of viewing countless videos, photographs, reading artist's statements, and researching the practice of each, yet despite this same criteria, each judge selects their own art award finalist exhibition and winner with vastly differing rationales for their choices. Below are the years in chronological order and the winners, and with it the judges who have chosen the best of contemporary art for another year in Aotearoa. 

 

YEAR

WINNING WORK

ARTIST

JUDGE

2000

Sponsored by Trust Waikato

Initiated and administered by Waikato Society of Arts.

Exhibition at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato 

43837 The Oval

Photograph, 2000

Gavin Hipkins

Gregory Burke

Director, Govett Brewster Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand

2001

Sponsored by Trust Waikato

Administered by Waikato Society of Arts

Exhibition at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato

43838

Perfect Pitch (detail)

Photographic assemblage 2001,

Daniel Malone

Mary Barr and Jim Barr

Art writers, critics, and collectors, Wellington, New Zealand

 

2002

Sponsored by Trust Waikato

Administered by Waikato Society of Arts

Exhibition at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato

 

43839

Hyperreal Toolbox for the Reinvention of a Transglobal Empire in a Parallel Universe

Installation 2002

Dave Stewart

Zara Stanhope

Director, Adam Art Gallery 1999 - 2002, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand 

 

2003

Sponsored by Trust Waikato

Administered by  Waikato Society of Arts

Exhibition at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato

 

 

43840

To the Moon and Back

Acrylic on canvas 2003

Rohan Weallans

Tobias Berger

Director, Artspace, Auckland, New Zealand

 

2004

Sponsored by Trust Waikato

Administered by Waikato Society of Arts

Exhibition at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

43855

43857

43856
 

Blind Date

Photograph installation, 2004

Geoffrey Heath

 

 

 

Lest We Forget

Photographic installation, 2004

Donna Sarten

 

 

Honeycomb Reticulum

Scultpural installation 2004

Joanna Chow

Sophie McIntyre

Director, Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand

 

2005

Sponsored by Trust Waikato

Administered by Waikato Society of Arts

Exhibition at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato

 

 

43859

Nightfall

DVD 2005

Sriwhana Spong

Heather Galbraith

Senior Curator, City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand

 

2006

Sponsored by Trust Waikato

Administered by Waikato Museum

Exhibition at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato

 

43860

A Library to Scale, Part II, Marshland Hill, F.B. Butler Collection, Puke Ariki, New Plymouth

Video animation 2006

Ann Shelton

Mercedes Vicente

Senior Curator, Govett Brewster Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand

 

2007

Sponsored by Trust Waikato

Administered by Waikato Museum

Exhibition at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato

 

43861

Resonance

Air-drying clay, acrylic, audio speakers, recording 2007

Boris Dornbusch

Leonhard Emmerling

Director St. Paul Street Gallery AUT, Auckland, New Zealand

 

2008

Sponsored by Trust Waikato

Administered by Waikato Museum

Exhibition at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato

43862

Untitled

Found Pinex board, 2008

Patrick Lundberg

Natasha Conland

Curator of Art, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand

 

2009

Sponsored by Trust Waikato

Administered by Waikato Museum

Exhibition at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato

43863

Collateral

In-situ installation by WM Staff by Proxy - discarded freight wrapers and labels, 2009

Dane Mitchell

Charlotte Huddleston

Senior Curator of Art, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand

 

2010

Sponsored by Bold Horizon

Administered by Waikato Museum

Exhibition at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato

 

 

26516

Lozenge of Dawn

Paper, acrylic, 2010

Locust Jones

Rachel Kent

Senior Curator of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA),Sydney, Australia

 

2011

Sponsored by Bold Horizon

Administered by Waikato Museum

Exhibition at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato

40279

Blue Poles

Acrylic el Fresco, 2011

Andre Hemer

John Hurrell

Indepdent curator, artist, critic and Director of EyeContact Site, Auckland, New Zealand

 

2012

Sponsored by Barry Hopkins

Administered by Waikato Museum

Exhibition at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato

42425

Parallel of Life and Art

In-situ installation with ready-made bus stop 2012

Michael Parr and Blaine Western

Caterina Riva

Director, Artspace Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

 

2013

Sponsored by Waikato Society of Arts

Administered by Waikato Museum

Exhibition at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato

 

 

01 resized Dieneke S Jansen Morrison Drive Hobsonville  

Morrison Drive, Hobsonville
23 November 2012

Pigment inkjet

Dieneje S Jansen


 

Jon Bywater

Senior Lecturer at the Elam School of Fine Arts, The University of Auckland, curator, writer on art, music, and theory

 

 

2014

Sponsored by Tompkins Wake and Ebbett Audi

Administered by Waikato Museum

Exhibition at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato

Tell Someone if Something Happens Deanna Dowling Winner 2014NCAA 5

Tell Someone if Something Happens

Mixed Media

Deanna Dowling

Simon Rees

Director, Govett Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand

2015

Sponsored by Chow:Hill and Tompkins Wake

Administered by Waikato Museum

Exhibition at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato

 

Bronwyn Holloway Smith Pioneer City Flag Winner 2015 National Contemporary Art Award crop4

Pioneer City Flag

Mixed media installation

Bronwyn Holloway-Smith

Aaron Kreisler

Head of School at Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury

 

 

2016

Sponsored by Tompkins Wake and Chow:Hill

Administered by Waikato Museum

Exhibition at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato

Good Kisser Sorawit Songsatayer cropped4

Good Kisser

3D printed vases

Sorawit Songsataya

Misal Adnan Yildiz

Director, Artspace Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand