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Compare New Zealand Art Awards List for Artists

Compare New Zealand Art Awards List for Artists

Art Awards open to New Zealand Artists 

Take a look into the world of artistic excellence with this list of Art Awards that are open exclusively to New Zealand artists.

This captivating collection celebrates the creativity and talent thriving in this vibrant nation. Each award showcases these gifted individuals' remarkable achievements and unique perspectives, spanning a diverse range of artistic disciplines.

By clicking on the names below, delve deeper into the fascinating world of these awards and explore the extraordinary journeys and masterpieces that have garnered recognition.

Start your visual adventure and immerse yourself in the captivating stories and creations of New Zealand's finest artists or as an artist yourself, use this list to find awards and competitions to enter for your own work?

Adam Portraiture Award

The Adam Portraiture Award is New Zealand’s most prestigious and popular portraiture prize. The biennial competition for painted portraits is held at The New Zealand Portrait Gallery and generously sponsored by the Adam Foundation. The Adam Portraiture Award provides New Zealand painters from all stages of their careers with the opportunity to showcase their talents on the national stage, while also playing an important role in recording the changing face of Aotearoa.

Auckland Art Show

Auckland’s new premiere art sales event. If you love art this event is one not to be missed! The show begins with a stellar opening night (pre-sale event) at the Cloud in the heart of the Auckland CBD. Hundreds of artists, thousands of artworks, wine, cheese, music all under one roof in September.

Christchurch Art Show

South Island’s new premiere art sales event based in the resilient heart of Christchurch city. This event is a fantastic opportunity for new, emerging and established artists to showcase and sell their works in a three day art extravaganza in June.

Craigs Aspiring Art Prize

This annual event attracts artists from around New Zealand and is becoming a nationally recognised art award. The winning prize of $10,000 is proudly sponsored by Craigs Investment Partners. In addition there are a number of merit prizes sponsored by the local community.

Dunedin Art Show

Hundreds of artists and thousands of artworks under one roof. If you love art this event is not to be missed! This event is a perfect opportunity for new, emerging and established artists to showcase and sell their works in a three day art extravaganza in November.

Estuary Art Awards & Ecology Prize

The only contemporary art prize in Aotearoa New Zealand with ecology at its core. Artists have been invited to research and respond to the Tamaki Estuary – to underscore the ecological value of this vital waterway, and to encourage action against its pollution. With a total prize pool of $8,300, the Awards Ceremony will celebrate the winning artworks; chosen for their innovative and intelligent response to ecology and the Tamaki Estuary.

Hope & Sons Art Awards (South Island only)

The Hope and Sons Art Awards are a very successful biennial event, first starting in 1998 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Otago province. Held by The Otago Art Society in the Dunedin Railway Station, this award has attracted many gifted artists from throughout the South Island. It has proved extremely popular with the public. 

The Hope & Sons Art Awards are open to any artist who resides in the South Island, and all Otago Art Society members. The support for local art, having become a strong family tradition, is reflected in the many works on display in the chapel and reception areas of Hope and Sons’ funeral home on Andersons Bay Rd, Dunedin.

Lysaght Watt Trust Art Award

The major prize of $3000 (sponsored by the Lysaght Watt Trust) as well as several other sponsored prizes, continues to draw entries from artists throughout New Zealand.

Molly Morpeth Canaday Art Award

This annual non-acquisitive award is dedicated to excellence across contemporary and traditional painting and drawing and 3D genres in alternate years. The award has developed over 30 years and sits credibly within the New Zealand arts community.

A high standard of work is selected to form the exhibition from nationwide entries by three pre-selection judges working independently.

For participants, the award offers professional development opportunities to artists by showcasing their practice to peers, collectors, critics, museum curators, the media and the community at large

National Contemporary Art Award

The National Contemporary Art Award can be described as brave, colourful and never shy, an award which takes on an exciting genre – contemporary art.

Contemporary art is described as art that has been and continues to be created during our lifetimes. In other words, contemporary to us. Or more simply, the art of now.The National Contemporary Art Award is an opportunity for New Zealand artists to appear in an overview of national artistic practice and feature in a major exhibition within the Waikato Museum.

National Youth Award

Run by the Waikato Society of Arts, these awards are for youth from 15 to 25 years old to enter. All mediums are judged. The Waikato Society of Arts regards this exhibition as one of the highlights of the year and are delighted to have gained excellent sponsorship and support from the Hamilton community towards prizes in different categories for the winning artists.

New Zealand Art Show

The NZ Art Show is New Zealand’s favourite art event – a curated experience like you’ve never seen before. Thousands of artworks, hundreds of artists, representing a diverse range of art styles and media. Contemporary to traditional, abstract to representational, painting, sculpture, original printmaking, digital art, photography, illustration, encaustic – this show is for discerning art lovers.

The New Zealand Art Show encourages New Zealanders to celebrate our identity and culture by buying local art. The show is held in late March, early June.

New Zealand Painting and Printing Art Award

Regarded as one of the country’s most prestigious art awards, the $20,000 prize is donated to the Waikato Society of Arts by the Philip Vela Family Trust, who in addition, purchase the winning work. The Vela family are building an important collection, which they intend to exhibit in the future.

Parkin Drawing Prize

The Parkin Prize is a national award and an annual exhibition held at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts. Each year the winning entry will be purchased and added to a unique collection of drawings by New Zealand artists. The Parkin Prize has been established by Chris Parkin, an arts patron and former owner of New Zealand’s only boutique art hotel – Museum Art Hotel in Wellington.

Pattillo Wanganui Arts Review Awards

The Pattillo Whanganui Arts Review is New Zealand’s longest running, open call, community art exhibition. And is an annual highlight of the Sarjeant Gallery’s programme. It is in fact the longest running public arts review in New Zealand. 

The exhibition is known as a ‘snapshot of the region’s creative output now’ and works are accepted in any medium, as long as they are completed in the last twelve months by artists living in the Whanganui region or an area that links to the Whanganui River including Whanganui, Ruapehu, Rangitikei and South Taranaki. In addition, in 2022 for the first time, any student enrolled at Whanganui UCOL studying towards a degree, diploma or certificate in Creative Industries was eligible to enter regardless of where they might live.

Rotorua Mueseum Art Awards

Unfortunately this one appears to be on hold as of 2020, no updates have been given but the site is still live so it will stay on the list n the meantime.

Splash® - Watercolour New Zealand’s Annual National Watercolour Exhibition

Splash® is the national exhibition of Watercolour New Zealand Inc., featured best paintings by professional and amateur watercolour artists all across New Zeland from Whangarei to Invercargill.

This highly anticipated event invites artists from across New Zealand to unleash their creativity and showcase their mastery of this captivating medium. With its rich history and versatile techniques, watercolour offers a unique and expressive way to bring art to life. The competition promises an awe-inspiring display of talent, where artists' boundless imaginations flow onto the canvas, creating breathtaking landscapes, vibrant portraits, and captivating still-life compositions. 

Taranaki National Art Awards

Opunakē’s Taranaki National Art Awards, is a highlight of the regions creative calendar.  Celebrating 20 years in 2021, this annual event is a national competition offering an opportunity for artists to exhibit and sell their artwork with the added bonus of a $10,000 prize pool. Catagories are- Painting, Taranaki Artists, 3D, Works on Paper, Fibre art, To Taranakitanga and photography

Tasman National Art Awards

Mapua welcomes artists from up and down New Zealand. View and buy art from some of New Zealand’s best painters in this eclectic show of 2D works. The show is judged and prizes are awarded to a Premier Winner, plus four Merit Awards and a special Wildlife Art Award sponsored by Janet Marshall. There will be a chance to vote for your own favourite work for the People’s Choice Award. We look forward to welcoming you all to Mapua Community Hall and hope you enjoy a day out in Mapua.

Waitakere Art, Sculpture and Photography Awards

In their 35th year the Waitakere Central Community Arts Council's, The Trusts Art & Sculpture Awards Exhibition (TTASA)  is usually in October and is open to all artists working in oil, acrylic, pastels, watercolours, ink, pencil, crayon, gouache, charcoal, pen, chalk, collage, mixed media, print-making and sculpture

Walters Prize

The Walters Prize was established in 2002 and named after Gordon Walters. The founding benefactors and principal donors, Erika and Robin Congreve and Jenny Gibbs wanted to make contemporary art a more widely recognised and debated feature of New Zealand cultural life. Held every two years, the $50,000 Walters Prize, modelled on the Tate Britain's Turner Prize, is awarded for an outstanding contribution to contemporary art in New Zealand.

This ist is an up to date current list of art awards in New Zealand at the time of writing this, please let us know if you hear of other awards we should list or if any of these no longer exist. Its an ever evolving situation. As awards come and go and constantly evolve this list will also.

If you're planning on entering art competitions, read the following article - Entering Art Competitions

Posted: Thursday 25 February 2010


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