Skip to page content
Home / About us » News » Archives

$23,000 prize pool for National Contemporary Art Award

6 March 2017

Elizabeth Caldwell3

Image: 2017 National Contemporary Art Award judge, Elizabeth Caldwell. 


A total prize pool of $23,000 is up for grabs in the 2017 National Contemporary Art Award managed by Waikato Museum.

Entries are now open for the award, with the winner to receive $20,000 from major sponsors Tompkins Wake and Chow:Hill.

In addition, Waikato Museum is proud to welcome back its full family of sponsors from 2016, with David’s Emporium, Random Art Group and Friends of Waikato Museum providing three $1,000 Merit Awards. ArtZone Magazine is also supporting the People’s Choice prize.

This year’s judge is Director of City Gallery Wellington, Elizabeth Caldwell, who brings more than 25 years’ experience in New Zealand’s visual arts sector.

“From its inception, the National Contemporary Art Award has attracted artists of the highest calibre and generated vital critical dialogue,” she says. “I am honoured to have been asked to contribute to the legacy of this prestigious award. Past award recipients have been distinguished by their ambition, boldness, originality and technical prowess.”

Now in its 18th year, the National Contemporary Art Award will culminate with a premier exhibition at Waikato Museum from 29 July to 5 November 2017.

The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on 28 July.

Waikato Museum Director Cherie Meecham says the award and exhibition is a highlight of New Zealand’s arts calendar.

“The exhibition provides a valuable site for artistic expression and debate, and an important record of New Zealand contemporary art,” says Ms Meecham.

“It never fails to generate entries which push the boundaries and break the rules to create a unique and significant visual experience.”

Entry to the National Contemporary Art Award is open until 1pm, Wednesday 3 May 2017. To enter, go to



Major sponsors: Tompkins Wake and Chow:Hill

Sponsors: David’s Emporium, Random Art Group, Friends of Waikato Museum, ArtZone Magazine

First prize: $20,000

Three merit awards: $1,000 each

Entries close: 1pm Wednesday 3 May 2017

Finalists notified/announced: Week of Monday 15 May 2017

Winners announced/Award ceremony: Friday 28 July 2017

Exhibition: Saturday 29 July to Sunday 5 November 2017

Venue: Waikato Museum, 1 Grantham Street, Hamilton

Image: 2017 National Contemporary Art Award judge, Elizabeth Caldwell.


For more information contact:

Dan Silverton

Partnerships and Communications Manager

07 838 6956

021 056 9810