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National Contemporary Art Award 2022

6 August - 13 November 2022

Open daily 10am to 5pm

Free entry

Brave, colourful, and never shy. The art of now.

Each year the National Contemporary Art Award brings the best in Aotearoa contemporary art to the Waikato. The finalists on display are selected via a blind-judging process by the annually appointed judge.


2022 judge

One of Aotearoa New Zealand’s top contemporary artists, Reuben Paterson (Ngaati Rangitihi, Ngaai Tuuhoe, Tuuhourangi), is 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.

Born in 1973, Paterson is acknowledged as part of a third generation of contemporary Maaori artists defining their own modes and methods of art making. His signature style draws from both his Maaori and Scottish ancestry, combining pattern and design with non-traditional media.



  • 2022 National Contemporary Art Award, $20,000 prize co-sponsored by Tompkins Wake and Chow:Hill
    Emma Hercus for Red Handed (acrylic paint and charcoal on MDF board with collage)

  • 2022 Runner Up and winner of the $5,000 Hugo Charitable Trust Award
    Raukura Turei for He Tukuna V (onepū, oil and pigment on linen).

  • 2022 Friends of Waikato Museum $1,000 Merit Award winner
    Sara (Hera) Tautuku Orme for Ko Te Awa Ko Au -Darling (Darz) (photograph).

  • 2022 Random Art Group $1,000 Merit Award winner
    Oleg Polounine for Dits and Dahs (aluminium foil sculpture).

  • 2022 Campbell Smith Memorial People’s Choice Award
    Gemma Baldock for Once Upon a Time (mixed media/original collage).



The exhibition is a showcase of the finalists for the 2022 National Contemporary Art Award:

  • Jana Wood, Night Walking (oil on rabbit skin gesso on board) and Pink Squall (oil on rabbit skin gesso on recycled board)
  • Virginia Were, An Abominable Mystery (framed photographic print)
  • Tira Walsh, Black Milk (mixed media on canvas)
  • Hannah Valentine, Anytime (with purpose) (cast bronze, Beal and Edelrid cords, Black Diamond Daisy Chain)
  • Leighton Upson, Untitled (oil and spray paint on linen)
  • Raukura Turei, He Tukuna V (onepū, oil and pigment on linen)
  • Natalie Tozer, Medium Continued (mixed media)
  • Sara (Hera) Tautuku Orme, Ko Te Awa Ko Au -Darling (Darz) (photograph)
  • Mark Soltero, Four Corners of the Rorschach (acrylic on hessian)
  • David K. Shields, I Am Hayden (He/They) (photograph)
  • Merthyr Ruxton, AWA (oil paint on board)
  • Milvia Romici, Future Rocks (various plastic packaging (milk bottles, cups, meat trays, etc), plastic bags, wire frame)
  • Mark Purdom, Shredded Tire 37° 51' 01.1"S 175° 20' 34.2"E (giclée photographic print)
  • Oleg Polounine, Dits and Dahs (aluminium foil and tape, spray paint)
  • Katie Mouat, The Moment of Truth 2022 (photograph)
  • Deborah Moss, Memories of Nikau (acrylic, ink, oil pastel on stretched linen)
  • Scott McFarlane, Figurative Real Estate (oil on canvas)
  • Alice Jeesu McDonald, Fountain of Desires (ink on paper)
  • Janet Mazenier, Milieu (oil and mixed media with beeswax medium)
  • Christina Little, Pastness & Futureness (digital photograph)
  • Glen Hutchins, Out West (graphite, spray paint and acrylic on unstretched canvas)
  • Emma Hercus, Red handed (acrylic and charcoal on MDF board with collage)
  • James R Ford, It’s All a Bit Confusing, Then It’s Over (acrylic on canvas)
  • Jessica Douglas, Troubled Waters (acrylic on canvas)
  • Ekaterina Dimieva, Utopian Landscape 01 (oil on canvas)
  • Antony Densham, C4.2022 (acrylic on canvas)
  • Elliot Collins, There Were Trees (bone, honey and perspex)
  • D Milton Browne, Subdued (photograph)
  • Matthew Browne, MORGENFRISK (vinyl tempera and oil on linen)
  • Gareth Barlow, Shadows Of The Ashes (acrylic and charcoal (including charcoal from burnt taonga) on paper)
  • Gemma Baldock, Once Upon a Time (mixed media/original collage)
  • Matt Arbuckle, The Guide (acrylic on knitted polyester, framed in aluminium)
  • Rachel Hope Allan, Our Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (photograph)
  • Brett a'Court, Toiroa's Prophecy (oil on prepared woollen blanket on canvas support)



Koorero Toi: Reuben Paterson, judge of NCAA 2022

Saturday 1 October 11am - 12pm. Find out more.


Media releases

Handcrafted collage wins NCAA People’s Choice Award - 2 November 2022

‘Red handed’ artwork wins $20,000 National Contemporary Art Award - 6 August 2022

Finalists announced for 2022 National Contemporary Art Award - 21 June 2022

Top artist to judge National Contemporary Art Award - 21 March 2022


Major sponsors


Merit Awards

hugo roundel green RGB009A49

Random Art Group

Friends of Waikato Museum

People's Choice Award

Family of former Waikato Museum Director Campbell Smith