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Finalists announced for 2022 National Contemporary Art Award

21 June 2022

Thirty-four artists have been selected as finalists in the 2022 National Contemporary Art Award.

This prestigious annual competition brings the best in Aotearoa New Zealand contemporary art to Hamilton’s Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato.

The 2022 judge Reuben Paterson (Ngāti Rangitihi, Ngāi Tūhoe, Tūhourangi), one of the country’s top contemporary artists, has chosen 35 works by 34 artists as the National Contemporary Art Award (NCAA) finalists. The successful works were selected through a blind judging process in which Paterson reviewed images, video, and artists’ statements without knowing the identity of the artist.

“It’s near impossible to describe how tough the selection process was. I want to thank the hundreds of artists who submitted works and shared so much of themselves. The calibre of entries was so impressive, it made narrowing down very difficult,” says Paterson.

“I cannot wait to see these works in the flesh and make my final decisions.”

Paterson will also use blind judging in situ at Waikato Museum to select the prize winners for this year’s prestigious Award. The highly anticipated announcement will be made at a gala opening before the exhibition opens to the public on Saturday 6 August.

“NCAA is an absolute highlight of our calendar, and each year the exhibition is brimming with bold and original work from Aotearoa New Zealand artists at all stages of their careers,” says Liz Cotton, Director Museum & Arts at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato.

“We are very excited to see how Reuben’s curatorial vision will come to life in the gallery.”

The prize for the first place winner is $20,000, thanks to leading New Zealand law firm Tompkins Wake and nationally-renowned architects Chow:Hill, who have been NCAA co-sponsors since 2014 and 2015 respectively.

The Hugo Charitable Trust sponsors the $5,000 Hugo Award for the runner-up, 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 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. 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.

The finalists for the 2022 National Contemporary Art Award are:

  • Jana Wood
  • Virginia Were
  • Tira Walsh
  • Hannah Valentine
  • Leighton Upson
  • Raukura Turei
  • Natalie Tozer
  • Sara (Hera) Tautuku Orme
  • Mark Soltero
  • David K. Shields
  • Merthyr Ruxton
  • Milvia Romici
  • Mark Purdom
  • Oleg Polounine
  • Katie Mouat
  • Deborah Moss
  • Scott McFarlane
  • Alice Jeesu McDonald
  • Janet Mazenier
  • Christina Little
  • Glen Hutchins
  • Emma Hercus
  • James R Ford
  • Jessica Douglas
  • Ekaterina Dimieva
  • Antony Densham
  • Elliot Collins
  • D Milton Browne
  • Matthew Browne
  • Gareth Barlow
  • Gemma Baldock
  • Matt Arbuckle
  • Rachel Hope Allan
  • Brett a'Court


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