Wānaka Sun       

Wānaka artists encouraged to enter awards

Posted at 6:00am Thursday 07 Jan, 2021 | By Jo Galer newsdesk@thewanakasun.co.nz

Budding young artists in Wānaka, and established ones, are being encouraged to start thinking about the Central Otago Arts Gold Awards this year, with prizes on offer of up to $10,000. 

This is a biennial art competition run by the Central Otago District Arts Trust since 2011, and for the first time will have a youth category where pupils at schools in the region will be encouraged to submit their favourite art piece.

 Arts Coordinator Rebekah de Jong said the youth category was initiated by the manager of Central Stories, Brian Budd, to encourage and support up and coming New Zealand artists. In the past entries have been open to artists aged 18 and over. The 2021 awards will include a new Youth Category for artists under the age of 18.

 “There are few national art awards with a youth category and we believe there is some incredible work being created by young artists in our area and throughout New Zealand which should be celebrated,” she said. 

 “We intend to approach schools throughout New Zealand with marketing material in the New Year and hope to get around some of our local schools and talk to educators and pupils about the 2021 awards.”

 De Jong added that Wānaka has a diverse and thriving arts community and the 2019 awards proved the calibre of some of the art produced in the area. Wānaka artist Paul McLachlan won the Supreme Award for his work 'Dog and Water Lillies'.  

 “We receive a good amount of submissions from Wānaka artists and we would like to encourage as many people as possible to enter the 2021 awards.  

“By inviting entries from all over New Zealand, we strive to present new and interesting work to Central Otago audiences, that is socially conscious, contemplative and which generates healthy dialogue and robust discussion.  At the same time, we are searching for excellence in the visual arts from within Central Otago.”

 There is also an Outstanding Central Otago Artist Award for an artist permanently residing in the Central Otago/Central Lakes.


“We normally receive an average of around 300 entries, from these judges select around 50 artists whose works will feature in the Finalists Exhibition. We ask judges to ensure around 30 per cent of the Finalists selected are from the Central Otago/ Lakes District areas.” 

Entries close July 31 and the Awards opening and exhibition will be held at the Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery Alexandra in September. The Central Otago Arts Newsletter will have updates and enquiries can be directed to manager@centralstories.com.

Read edition 1008 of the Wānaka Sun here.


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