The annual Whanganui National Art Exhibition and Award are designed to create a national platform for visual artists in the Whanganui region, and to develop dialogue and relationships between the national arts sector and the Whanganui arts community.
Held at the Wanganui Community Arts Centre, 19 Taupo Quay in Wanganui, the opening function is on September 17 at 5pm, while the exhibition runs till October 6.
The convener, the Whanganui National Art Exhibition and Award Trust, is excited about the prospects of this year’s event, comparing its small beginning last year showing artists from Wellington, the Hawkes Bay, and the Whanganui regions. For the 2010 show, the trust has been successful in generating further interest from throughout New Zealand.
The chairman of the trust, Aaron Potaka, feels that the exhibition and award is certainly on the national arts calendar, saying all indications are that “this exhibition now has a serious presence in the New Zealand contemporary arts scene in only its second year.”
“Considering the calibre of entries, the judging panel, and the real contenders for last year’s award, this exhibition is becoming an influential show of New Zealand artists and for them to be recognised, viewed, and patronised at the Whanganui National Art Exhibition”, he says.
The trust has increased the award prize to $500 for the work considered Best in Show. This year’s three judges are Marty Vreede, printmaker and printmaking lecturer at Whanganui UCOL, Richard Aslett, award winning painter and graphic artist, and a trustee of the Whanganui National Art Exhibition and Award Trust the final selector.
Trustees have the purpose of promoting high quality New Zealand contemporary visual art in Wanganui, that commands attention nationally and internationally, and the award is an encouragement to artists from throughout New Zealand to enter their latest works.
The trustees are working and practicing artists, so they understand the value of recognition and exhibiting in a national show, and the influence of a Best in Show award in their careers. “This is indeed a blue ribbon event in New Zealand visual arts”, Mr Potaka says.
Mr Potaka says that the trust is grateful for the sponsorships from the Wanganui District Creative Communities NZ, Optiv101 Fine Arts and Multimedia Studios, Powerco Wanganui Trust, Whanganui Community Foundation, and Mickey’s, in presenting the 2010 Whanganui National Art Exhibition and Award.