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2019 National Contemporary Art Award

Job details

Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato
8 May 2019
Work type
Call for entries
Work classification
Visual Arts


One of Aotearoa’s most notable and decorated artists will judge the 2019 National Contemporary Art Award.

Fiona Pardington will select the finalists and prize winners of the 20th running of the National Contemporary Art Award, managed by Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato.

Regarded globally for her photography, Pardington was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2017. In 2016, she became the first New Zealand visual artist to be named a Knight (Chevalier) in the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres) by the French government.

Of Ngaai Tahu, Kati Mamoe, Ngaati Kahungunu, and Scottish (Clan Cameron of Erracht) descent, Pardington has received many fellowships, residencies, awards, and grants during her illustrious career. They include the Moët et Chandon Fellowship (France) in 1991-92, the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship in both 1996 and 1997, the Ngaai Tahu residency at Otago Polytechnic in 2006 and both the Quai Branly Laureate award, La Résidence de Photoquai, and the Arts Foundation Laureate Award in 2011. 

Pardington says: “I’m honoured to judge this wonderful award, especially in its 20th year. It’s a credit to the organisers that the award has prospered and gained in significance over this period. I’m sure the 2019 awards will add to its wonderful legacy.”

Waikato Museum Director Cherie Meecham says having Pardington as the judge is a coup for the award and Waikato Museum.

“Having a judge as esteemed as Fiona to mark the 20-year anniversary of the National Contemporary Art Award is extremely fitting,” says Ms Meecham.

“The opportunity to have Fiona see, and potentially select, an artist’s work will be a huge incentive to enter this year’s award, let alone the chance of winning.”

The National Contemporary Art Award brings the best in New Zealand contemporary art to Hamilton and the Waikato. Entries are drawn from across the country and New Zealand citizens living overseas. The overall winner will receive $25,000 from major sponsors Tompkins Wake and Chow:Hill. The Hugo Charitable Trust sponsors the Hugo Award for the Runner-Up, with the recipient receiving $5,000, and two merit award winners will receive $1,000 sponsored by Friends of Waikato Museum and Random Art Group. 

Every year a new judge is chosen with the credibility to select the finalists and the ultimate winner. Through elimination, it is the judge who curates the award, shaping the final exhibition as well as choosing a winner, runner-up and merit award winners. The finalists are selected by viewing photos or videos of the works and artists’ statements on a digital judging platform, with the entrants’ identities kept confidential. The winning works are then decided in situ at Waikato Museum.

The award was initiated in 2000 by the Waikato Society of Arts. It has always been held at Waikato Museum, which has managed the award since 2006. Trust Waikato sponsored the award for the first 10 years, with Tompkins Wake and Chow:Hill co-sponsoring the award since 2015 (Tompkins Wake was also a co-sponsor in 2014). Past winners include Dane Mitchell, Sriwhana Spong, Ann Shelton, Joanna Chow, and Kim Pieters. 

Entry closes: 1pm, Wednesday 8 May 2019
Finalists notified: Week of 20 May 2019
Exhibition: Saturday 3 August to Sunday 10 November 2019

How to apply

Go to waikatomuseum.co.nz/ncaa

Written by

Waikato Museum - Te Whare Taonga o Waikato

11 Mar 2019

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