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National Contemporary Art Award 2023

29 July - 12 November 2023

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.

Prize winners

The winner of the 2023 National Contemporary Art Award was announced at the opening gala by this year's guest judge, highly respected arts curator and commentator Melanie Oliver.

  • 2023 National Contemporary Art Award, $20,000 prize sponsored by Tompkins Wake
    Tawhai Rickard for Scenes from a Victorian Restaurant (reclaimed wood, enamel/acrylic paint).

  • 2023 Runner Up and winner of the $7,500 Hugo Charitable Trust Award
    Sung Hwan Bobby Park for BTM 조상 초상화 Ancestor Portrait (digital photograph). 

  • 2023 Friends of Waikato Museum $1,000 Merit Award winner
    Hannah Ireland for Stained Cheery Wine (watercolour, ink and acrylic on found window).
  • 2023 Random Art Group $1,000 Merit Award winner
    Sara (Hera) Tautuku Orme for Darling, Tēnei Au (photograph).

  • 2023 Campbell Smith Memorial People’s Choice Award
    Cora-Allan for Kai Paraoa (whenua (pukepoto and karangahape blush) on hiapo).

Find out more.



From a record-breaking number of entries, 41 artworks were selected as finalists for the 2023 National Contemporary Art Award by this year's judge, Melanie Oliver.

Brett a'Court ▪️ Rachel Hope Allan ▪️ Colleen Altagracia ▪️ Naomi Azoulay ▪️ Debbie Barber ▪️ Jordan Barnes ▪️ Tori Beeche ▪️ Deborah Body ▪️ Emily Brown ▪️ D Milton Browne ▪️ Esther Bunning ▪️ Cathy Carter ▪️ Katherine Claypole ▪️ Antony Densham ▪️ Kim Fifield ▪️ Alastair Floyd ▪️ Hannah Ireland ▪️ Bena Jackson ▪️ Reece King ▪️ Cecelia Kumeroa ▪️ Theo Macdonald ▪️ Leanne Morrison ▪️ Ella Grace Nicol ▪️ Shannon Novak ▪️ Sara (Hera) Tautuku Orme ▪️ Mark O'Donnell & Cameron Rey ▪️ Maria O'Toole ▪️ Sung Hwan Bobby Park ▪️ Marilyn Rea-Menzies ▪️ Tawhai Rickard ▪️ Naomi Roche ▪️ Warisara Thomson ▪️ Jenny Tomlin ▪️ Hannah Valentine ▪️ Anja Vallis ▪️ Rīhari Warnock ▪️ Amanda Watson ▪️ Siniva Williams ▪️ Benjamin Work ▪️ Cora-Allan

Find out more.


Judge's Talk

This public event with guest judge, Melanie Oliver, was recorded on the opening day of the National Contemporary Art Award 2023 exhibition. It also features the National Contemporary Art Award 2023 winner, Tawhai Rickard. 


Exhibition catalogue

Download a PDF copy:
National Contemporary Art Award 2023 exhibition catalogue [PDF file, 6MB, 32 colour pages]


Media Releases

Reawakened tradition wins People’s Choice Award - 26 October 2023

Visual ode to biculturalism wins $20,000 National Contemporary Art Award - 28 July 2023

Finalists selected from record-breaking number of entries - 24 May 2023

Entries close soon for National Contemporary Art Award - 24 April 2023

Respected arts curator to judge cutting edge National Contemporary Art Award - 22 February 2023