47 artists vying for art awards prizes

A painting by Queenstown Art Society studio artist Hamish McBride (left) is one of 104 pieces entered in the Locations Art Awards 2012, to be judged by Mark Moran (right). Photo by James Beech.
A painting by Queenstown Art Society studio artist Hamish McBride (left) is one of 104 pieces entered in the Locations Art Awards 2012, to be judged by Mark Moran (right). Photo by James Beech.

Aspiring and professional artists from around the South will be hoping their work has what it takes to win up to $2500 in cash at the Locations Art Awards 2012 prizegiving tonight.

A total of 47 artists have entered 104 paintings in the annual showcase hosted by the Queenstown Art Society.

Contenders and art aficionados will gather in the Cloakroom Gallery, on the corner of Stanley and Ballarat Sts, at 5.30pm to hear who wins the top $2500 Best of Exhibition award.

Other awards to be presented are the $500 Best of Contemporary, the $500 Best of Traditional, the voucher and book-winning Best of Theme, the $300 Highly Commended awards, the $300 Commended Local Artist awards, the $100 Top Youth, the $100 voucher Youth Runner-Up and the award for the Most "Out There" Artwork.

Most of the artists hailed from the Wakatipu, others coming from Cromwell, Alexandra, Dunedin, Garston, Gore, Wyndham and Invercargill.

Submitted works ranged from realist to abstract pieces, and ranged from delicate portraits and traditional landscapes of familiar vistas, to colourful resins and pieces which defy explanation.

The theme this year was TSS Earnslaw and seven portraits of the "Lady of the Lake" were submitted.

All pieces are for sale and range in price from $110 to $5000.

"Every year the standard of entries gets better," art society president Sue Wademan said yesterday.

"Every year, it's more contemporary, less traditional, which is interesting.

"We seem to have a lot of faces rather than landscapes. There's about seven portrait artists represented."

Toi o Tahuna contemporary art gallery and Kapa New Zealand Design Gallery owner Mark Moran will judge the competition for the first time.

"I'm looking for works that say something to me and I'm looking with more of a contemporary perspective, given my background, compared to previous judges," Mr Moran said yesterday.

"Every year is different.

"Secondary to that is the execution of the works."