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Finalists for 2019 National Contemporary Art Award announced

24 May 2019

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Fifty-one artists are vying for the $27,000 of prize money in the 2019 National Contemporary Art Award.

Highly decorated artist Fiona Pardington is judging this year’s award and has selected 53 works by 51 artists as the finalists.

The successful works were selected through a blind judging process in which Pardington reviewed images, artists’ statements, and video without knowing the identity of the artist.

“It’s always hard for one artist to judge another artist’s work and I found this very difficult, especially when presented with works out of context,” she says.

“There were so many wonderful entries and, sadly, not all could be included in my final selection.”

The award is managed by Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato, which will host an exhibition of the finalists from 3 August to 10 November 2019.

Tompkins Wake and Chow:Hill are the major sponsors and have increased the first prize for 2019 from $20,000 to $25,000 in recognition of the award’s 20th year.

The Hugo Charitable Trust sponsors the Hugo Award for the Runner-Up, with the recipient receiving $5000, and two merit award winners will receive $1000 sponsored by Friends of Waikato Museum and Random Art Group.

The $250 Campbell Smith Memorial People’s Choice Award winner will be decided by public votes during the exhibition season.

The winners will be decided in situ at Waikato Museum and announced at an awards ceremony on 2 August.

“For those that didn’t make it, I’d encourage them to try again next year, and for the finalists, I look forward to seeing them in the flesh to make my final decision,” says Pardington. “It’s going to be a wonderful exhibition and I thank the artists for their efforts in entering.”


The finalists for the 2019 National Contemporary Art Award are:

Carrie Andrews, Cambridge

Claudia Avril, Hamilton

Caryline Boreham, Auckland

Jen Bowmast, Motueka

Matthew Browne, Auckland

Trish Campbell, Auckland

Hikalu Clarke and Wilson Ong, Auckland

Geoffrey Paul Clarke, Hamilton

Andrea du Chatenier, Whanganui

Russ Flatt, Auckland

Cat Fooks, Auckland

Aaron Frater, Wellington

Jo Giddens, Whanganui

Ayesha Green, Dunedin

Jacquelyn Greenbank, Christchurch

Thomas Hancock, Lower Hutt

Weilun Ha, Auckland

Arie Hellendoorn, Lower Hutt

Jane Johnson-Matua, Rotorua

Marilyn Jones, Wellington

Jonathan Kay, Wellington

Andrew Keall, Northland

Teresa HR Lane, Auckland

Tim Larkin, Wellington

Jae Hoon Lee, Auckland

Kate Lepper, Wellington

Kate Leslie, Wellington

Christina Little, Tawa

Johnathan Lovering, Wellington

Gina Matchitt, Wellington

Alice McDonald, Whanganui

Julian McKinnon, Auckland

Sam Mitchell, Auckland

Chris Mules, Thames

Ashton Lexie Northcott, Napier

Gerry Parke, Auckland

Robyn Penn, Johannesburg (double finalist)

Oleg Polounine, Auckland

Amy Potenger, Auckland

Andrew Rankin, Auckland

Michelle Reid, Auckland

Danae Ripley, Auckland

Micheline Robinson, Paraparaumu

Mandy Rodger, Auckland (double finalist)

Cathy Tuato'o Ross, Whangarei

Kirsten Smith, Auckland

Matthew Turner, Hamilton

Gene Paul Walker, Gisborne

Laura Williams, Auckland

Jana Wood, Auckland

Cole Zeal, Wellington