New award for art

New Zealand's first major national drawing award was launched this week.

The $20,000 Parkin Prize has been established by Wellington Museum Art Hotel owner and arts patron Chris Parkin, in association with the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts.

The Parkin Prize would showcase the art of drawing, which was fundamental to the process of making art, Mr Parkin said from Wellington.

"I believe it is essential to offer a national award of this significance and highlight the depth and skill of drawing practice in New Zealand," he said.

"Internationally, we are seeing a resurgence of interest in drawing as the basis of all visual art forms. Not only will it empower talented artists with a sense of the importance of their practice, but it will also see the establishment of a unique collection of New Zealand art through the acquisition of the winning drawings."

Drawing had traditionally been a poor relation in New Zealand art and the award addressed an overlooked practice, New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts director Warren Feeney said.

"It gives due attention to a critical aspect of making art that is often marginalised or neglected, even by sections of the arts community," Dr Feeney said.

"Drawing reveals and confronts the immediate connections between an artist - their work and ideas - and the world in which they live." The finalists would be selected by an advisory panel and the winner of the $20,000 first prize chosen by Massey University School of Fine Arts head Associate Prof Heather Galbraith.

The award is open to anyone who lives permanently in New Zealand or has New Zealand citizenship.

Entries close on June 15 next year and the winner will be announced in late July.


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