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2019 National Contemporary Art Award

3 August - 10 November 2019

Free entry to exhibition

The National Contemporary Art Award brings the best in New Zealand contemporary art to Hamilton and the Waikato. Entries are drawn from across the country and New Zealand citizens living overseas. The overall winner in 2019 received $25,000 from major sponsors Tompkins Wake and Chow:Hill. The Hugo Charitable Trust sponsored the Hugo Award for the Runner-Up, with the recipient receiving $5,000, and two merit award winners received $1,000 sponsored by Friends of Waikato Museum and Random Art Group.

Visitors to the exhibition were encouraged to cast their vote for the Campbell Smith Memorial People’s Choice Award before the exhibition closed on 10 November. This award, worth $250, was sponsored by the Smith family as a tribute to the former Waikato Art Museum Director, artist, playwright and poet.

This year the exhibition was made up of 52 finalists chosen from among more than 300 entries by the judge for 2019, internationally-renowned NZ artist Fiona Pardington MNZM, DocFA. 

Follow the National Contemporary Art Award on Facebook and get updates first. 

Related events:

Judges Floor Talk 

Peter Dornauf Floor Talk 

Image: 2019 Award winner Ayesha Green with Nana's Birthday (A Big Breath). 



National Contemporary Art Award

Nana's Birthday (A Big Breath), Ayesha Green (Kaai Tahu, Ngaati Kahungunui)

Hugo Award for the runner-up

He Tohutono (Commanding Sign), Gina Matchitt (Ngaati Rangitihi Te Arawa, Ngaati Nahere, Whakatoohea),

Friends of the Waikato Museum Merit Award

Anecdoche, Matthew Browne

Random Art Group Merit Award

Reason: Shame, Cathy Tuato'o Ross

Campbell Smith Memorial People’s Choice Award

A Cold Heart is a Fragile One Even When It’s Big, Weilun Ha




 NCAA Catalogue Cover2You can see the 2019 exhibition catalogue here


The finalists for the 2019 National Contemporary Art Award:

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


2019 Judge

Internationally-renowned New Zealand artist Fiona Pardington MNZM, Doc FA 

Alt Fiona Pardington supplied July 2019 Crop

 Read more about Fiona Pardington here.

  Dr Fiona Pardington, the judge for the 2019 National Contemporary Art Award, shares her insights on this year's competition:


Major Sponsors

sponsor logos for web flipped

Hugo Award  

Hugo Charitable Trust

Merit Awards  

Random Art Group

Friends of Waikato Museum

People's Choice Award  

Family of former Waikato Museum Director Campbell Smith


Photo Gallery of Winners and Sponsors



L to R: Brian Squair (Chow:Hill) and Phil Taylor (Tompkins Wake) with NCAA grand prize winner Ayesha Green



L to R: Peter Fanning, Johanna Fanning (representing the Hugo Charitable Trust) and NCAA runner-up Gina Matchitt



L to R: Alison Gibb (Friends of Waikato Museum) with merit award winner Matthew Browne



Alison Ewing (far right) and Random Art Group representatives with merit winner Cathy Tuato'o Ross (3rd from right)