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Three-way tie for people’s choice art award

25 October 2018

NCAA Peoples Choice Winners LARGE

Image: Left, Machine Drawing: Two Columns, Julian McKinnon; top right, Accidental Opus, Configuration 3, Kyle Sattler; bottom right, detail, Still Here (Green Floral), Marita Hewitt.


Contemporary art’s unique ability to divide public opinion has been reflected in the public voting of the National Contemporary Art Award People’s Choice prize.

Three works have each gained the most votes meaning the respective artists are co-winners of the inaugural Campbell Smith Memorial People’s Choice Award and will share the $250 cash reward.

Visitors to the National Contemporary Art Award exhibition at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato had the opportunity to vote for their favourite work from the 32 on display.

Accidental Opus, Configuration 3 by Kyle Sattler, Machine Drawing: Two Columns by Julian McKinnon, and Still Here (Green Floral) by Marita Hewitt attracted 24 per cent of the total number of votes between them.

Waikato Museum Director Cherie Meecham says the split vote is a first in the 19-year history of the National Contemporary Art Award.

“For our visitors to choose not one or two but three works as the People’s Choice winner is remarkable,” she says.

“The rest of the voting was similarly close which suggests the exhibition features works that appeal to all kinds of tastes.”

The Campbell Smith Memorial People’s Choice Award was introduced this year by the Smith family as a tribute to the former Waikato Art Museum Director, artist, playwright and poet.

At the National Contemporary Art Award opening ceremony in August, Rotorua’s Sarah Ziessen was named the winner of the $20,000 major prize, sponsored by Tompkins Wake Lawyers and Chow:Hill architects, for her work You and Me. The Weight of History.

Kereama Taepa won the $5,000 Hugo Award for the Runner-Up, sponsored by the Hugo Charitable Trust, for his 3D-printed Pac-Man-inscribed hei tiki titled Consumer Culture.

Merit award prizes of $1,000, sponsored by Random Art Group and Friends of Waikato Museum went to Natchez Hudson and Martin Awa Clarke Langdon, both of Wellington.

The exhibition runs until this Sunday 28 October 2018. Entry is free.