National Contemporary Art Award 2021
18 September 2021 - 20 February 2022
Brave, colourful, and never shy. The art of now.
Each year the National Contemporary Art Award brings the best in Aotearoa contemporary art to the Waikato. The finalists on display are selected via a blind-judging process by the annually appointed judge.
The overall winner in 2021 received $20,000 from co-sponsors Tompkins Wake and Chow:Hill Architects. The Hugo Charitable Trust Award of $5000 went to the runner-up, and the merit award winners received $1000 each, supported by Random Art Group and Friends of Waikato Museum.
Winner of the 2021 National Contemporary Art Award was announced on 18 September. The $250 Campbell Smith Memorial People’s Choice Award winner will be decided by public vote before the exhibition closes on 20 February 2022.
People’s Choice Award online
For the very first time, the Campbell Smith Memorial People's Choice Award is going to be decided by online votes as well as voting in person.
Take a look at the album on Waikato Museum Facebook page and ‘like’ your favourite artworks to add a vote. These will be tallied along with paper-based ballots in the gallery.
Voting closes on Tuesday 1 February 2022. Winner of the $250 prize will be announced before the exhibition closes.
See what judge Karl Chitham had to see about choosing this year's winners:
Can’t make it here to see the exhibition in person? Enjoy this footage of every finalist artwork to recreate the experience of wandering through the gallery:
2021 National Contemporary Art Award Winner sponsored by Tompkins Wake & Chow:Hill
Runner Up Award sponsored by Hugo Charitable Trust
Rua Kēnana and Pinepine Te Rika’s descent from Mt Maungapōhatu
Merit Award sponsored by Friends of Waikato Museum
D Milton Browne
Merit Award sponsored by Random Art Group
The Art of Value
John Guy Johnston
Campbell Smith Memorial People’s Choice Award
The finalists for the 2021 National Contemporary Art Award are:
- Rua Kēnana and Pinepine Te Rika's descent from Mt. Maungapōhatu – Brett a'Court, Northland (Runner up, 2021 National Contemporary Art Award)
- Nexus – Denise Batchelor, Northland
- Palmolive – Caryline Boreham, Auckland (Winner, 2021 National Contemporary Art Award)
- The Killing Chain – Brit Bunkley, Whanganui
- Fruit Bowl IIII - Oliver Cain, Auckland
- Equanimity (2021) – Trish Campbell, Auckland
- Untitled – Alex Chalmers, Whangārei
- Aletheia – Julia Christey, Hamilton
- Concrete 2 – Ruth Cleland, Auckland
- Joy Mountain - Natasha Cousens, Tauranga
- Maelstrom - David Cowlard, Auckland
- 2021 – Antony Densham, Auckland
- lab 20-10AB – Leslie Falls, Hastings
- Hikoi rā- walk there – Fraser Findlay, Whanganui
- ART – Stuart Forsyth, Wellington
- No Meat And All Vege – Jacquelyn Greenbank, Christchurch
- The genius loci of the chapel – Natalie Guy, Auckland
- Solv No. 4 – Levi Hawken, Auckland
- The Art of Value – John Guy Johnston, Auckland (Merit Award, 2021 National Contemporary Art Award)
- Anatomy of a Stream – Paul V Johnston, Auckland
- Sol 956 – Yoon Tae Kim, Auckland
- Hope is the Thing with Feathers 2 – Rozana Lee, Auckland
- Flagstaff Hill, April 2021 – Thomas Lord, Dunedin
- The Incredible Lightness Of Being – Kaye McGarva, Havelock North
- Gaze – D Milton Browne, Dunedin (Merit Award, 2021 National Contemporary Art Award)
- La teu le vā – Leanne Morrison, Hastings
- Late Model Mazda – Mark Purdom, Hamilton
- Solo Exercise – Naomi Roche, Hamilton
- Malaga – Raymond Sagapolutele, Auckland
- Has It Ever Been More Tense Than Now: The Post Covid Apocalypse – Kyle Sattler, Tauranga
- rorrim lartnec – Mark Soltero, Lyttelton
- Companion Pieces – Natalie Tozer, Auckland
- The Misunderstanding – May Trubuhovich, Auckland
- Diasporas Children – Telly Tuita, Wellington
- Blue Hours – Haihui Wang, Auckland
- Wishing well – Cora-Allan Wickliffe, Auckland
- Progress – Alex Wilkinson and Ben Wilson, Kihikihi
- AhoTāniko (connection) – Sheree Willman, Wellington
The Dowse Art Museum Director Karl Chitham (Ngaa Puhi, Te Uriroroi) selected 2021’s finalists and prize winners through a blind-judging process. He is an experienced judge, with recent credits including the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards and the selection panel for the New Zealand Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
Well-known in art circles around New Zealand, Chitham has held curatorial roles at Tauranga Art Gallery Toi Tauranga, Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa, and Objectspace.
Download a PDF copy:
2021 National Contemporary Art Award exhibition catalogue [PDF file, 1MB, 32 colour pages]
Random Art Group
Friends of Waikato Museum
People's Choice Award
Family of former Waikato Museum Director Campbell Smith