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Top artist to judge National Contemporary Art Award

21 March 2022

National Contemporary Art Award 2022 at Waikato Museum

Entries are open now for the National Contemporary Art Award 2022.

With a cash prize pool of more than $27,000, the annual National Contemporary Art Award (NCAA) competition brings the best in Aotearoa New Zealand contemporary art to Hamilton’s Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato.

Reuben Paterson (Ngāti Rangitihi, Ngāi Tūhoe, Tūhourangi), one of the country’s top contemporary artists, has agreed to be the judge for NCAA 2022. Known for his creations in glitter and diamond dust, Paterson will use the competition’s blind judging process to select finalists and prize winners for this year’s prestigious Award.

“I’m thrilled to step into this role for 2022,” says Paterson, who is acknowledged as part of a third generation of contemporary Maaori artists defining their own modes and methods of art making.

“I hope that artists throughout Aotearoa – established and emerging – are inspired to stretch themselves creatively and enter their work. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with!”

Paterson’s signature style draws from both his Maaori and Scottish ancestry, combining pattern and design with non-traditional media. Recently his sculptural work Guide Kaiārahi, a spectacular 10-metre-tall waka made with hundreds of iridescent crystals, was installed at the entry to Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.

“Every year the National Contemporary Art Award is full of eclectic, bold, and original work from artists at all stages of their careers. It’s a highlight of our calendar here at Waikato Museum,” says Liz Cotton, Director Museum & Arts at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato. 

“I am very much looking forward to hearing Reuben’s thoughts on the entries and celebrating his winning selection for 2022.”

The National Contemporary Art Award was launched in 2000 by the Waikato Society of Arts and has been facilitated and hosted by Waikato Museum since 2006. Leading New Zealand law firm Tompkins Wake and nationally-renowned architects Chow:Hill have been its co-sponsors since 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Now in its 22nd year, NCAA attracts original entries every year from New Zealand artists based in this country and overseas. This year’s exhibition will be held at Waikato Museum from 6 August to 13 November 2022.


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Note: Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga O Waikato uses double vowels in te reo Maaori to represent a long vowel sound as it is the preference of the Waikato–Tainui iwi. Artist names and other titles are shown in their original form.