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2018 National Contemporary Art Award

4 August - 28 October 2018

Artists entering this year's National Contemporary Art Award, managed by Waikato Museum, will now vie for a prize pool of more than $27,000.

The overall winner will receive $20,000 from Tompkins Wake and Chow Hill. The Hugo Charitable Trust will sponsor the Hugo Award for the Runner-Up, with the recipient receiving $5,000, and each merit award winner will receive $1,000 sponsored by Friends of Waikato Museum and Random Art Group.

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Follow the National Contemporary Art Award on Facebook and get updates first. 

Important dates:

  • Entries open Thursday 15 February 2018 and close 1.00 pm Wednesday 9 May 2018
  • Entrants will be notified if their work has been selected in the week beginning Monday 21 May 2018
  • Waikato Museum will announce finalists the week commencing Monday 21 May 2018


This year's award will be judged by the Director of Pātaka Art Gallery and Museum, Reuben Friend.

Judge - Reuben Friend

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Reuben Friend (b.1981) is the Director of Pātaka Art Gallery and Museum in Wellington, New Zealand. He is an artist and curator of Maaori (Ngaati Maniapoto) and New Zealand Paakehaa heritage. From 2009 to 2013, Friend worked as the Curator of Māori and Pacific Art at City Gallery Wellington in New Zealand where he co-curated Art in Oceania, a major survey exhibition of New Zealand and Pacific art that was exhibited simultaneously across The National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and City Gallery Wellington. Friend has a Master’s Degree in Philosophy in Māori Visual Arts and Post Graduate qualifications in Museum Studies from Massey University, and a Diploma in Māori Language from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.