Coastal Community Celebrates 18 years of Art

Artworks start arriving in Ōpunakē soon for the Taranaki National Art Awards, a highlight of our regions creative calendar. Celebrating its 18th year in 2019, the annual awards has attracted a record number of 347 entries from all over New Zealand. The exhibition showcases artworks in seven categories, with all artist in the running for a prize pool of over $12,000.

South Taranaki District Council Arts Coordinator, Michaela Stoneman says “The Awards attract a diverse range of work and offer an opportunity for emerging artists to show work alongside more established artists.

The exhibition offers wide scope for visitors to start or add to their art collection, with works priced between $80-$16,000. A great example of a small town doing it for themselves, the event is a real achievement for the voluntary committee to continue to secure sponsorship and organise it each year”.

Judges for 2019 are Karl Chitham and Aileen Burns, bringing their wide knowledge and experience of art theory and practice to the task. Karl Chitham (Ngā Puhi) is Director of the Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt. He has been involved in the arts in Aotearoa in a variety of roles for over 15 year and was formerly the Director and Curator of Tauranga Art Gallery. Having a long association with art and museum practice, Karl holds a Master of Fine Arts and has been an educator, curator and a commentator. Aileen Burns is currently co-director of Govett-Brewster Art Gallery /Len Lye Centre in New Plymouth.

Originally from Canada, Burns holds a Master of Modern Art: Critical & Curatorial Studies from Columbia University in New York in 2010. Burns was co-director at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Northern Ireland, has curated nearly 50 exhibitions and most recently co-directed the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane for 5 years.

Major category sponsors this year are the TSB Community Trust, Fred & Eunice Rodie Charitable Trust,Te Puni Kokiri, Soul Kitchen, Viv Scott Mc Donald Real Estate, Kete Aronui, Sinclair Electrical and Refrigeration, Pihama Lavender, Corkhill Systems, Pastimes, Coastal Veterinary Services and Farmlands Ōpunakē.

The event has grown substantially in 18 years, with an ongoing commitment to professionalism and quality presentation. Coinciding with the highly popular Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular, collaborations with local floral art groups are popular with visitors. “We are lucky to have our volunteers to help with the huge task transforming Sandfords into an art gallery – laying carpet, arranging curtains, display boards and plinths to show over 300 artworks the very best we can.” committee chair Bert Treffers.

The awards ceremony offers a great night of NZ artwork, entertainment, wine and food. It is also an opportunity to meet many of the artists and pick up some original artworks for your walls. Tickets are $15 – available at the door. This year’s dress theme is Into the Deep Blue Sea. For $20 you can become a Friend of the Taranaki National Art Awards and receive free entry to the awards ceremony, early VIP entry to view and purchase artworks and unlimited free entries to the exhibition.

The categories are: Painting, Taranaki Artists, 3D, Works on Paper, Fibre Art, Tō Taranakitanga and Photography, with each offering first and highly commended cash prizes.

Awards Ceremony: 7.00pm Friday 1 November 2016 Exhibition: 10 am – 4 pm, 2- 9 November 2019, Sandford Events Centre, Ōpunakē
For further information call Natasha Sefton-Zachan – 06 761 7534

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