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Alexandra photographer and outdoor education teacher Eric Schusser was the Central Otago winner at the Central Otago District Arts Trust 2013 Art Gold Awards announced in Alexandra last night.
He received $2000 for his photo Hay Bale Wrapper #1, taken of a wind-torn wrapper along Riverbank Rd, Wanaka.
Judges Felicity Milburn, Christchurch Art Gallery curator, and Jamie Hanton, director of Dunedin's The Blue Oyster Art Project Space, said Mr Schusser had managed to take an everyday, familiar subject and create a work with freshness and presence.
Dunedin artist Max Bellamy, who could not attend last night, won the $5000 Art Excellence award for his photo Des Artistes of a CCTV camera. The judges said his piece had a ''multitude of possible meanings with understated irony and humour''.
Mr Schusser said he was excited about his win, which was a first for him and something completely unexpected. He said he had driven that road several times and had taken photos of the same subject in different conditions and would be creating a series with the results.
The works are displayed along with the 45 other finalists, about a third of which were locals, in the Russell Henderson Art Gallery, Alexandra.
A further $1000 is up for grabs with the viewers' choice award - people can vote online or in person until December 5. The exhibition is open until December 7.
This was the second biennial art exhibition and awards organised by the trust. Co-ordinator Maxine Williams said 236 entries were received from artists around the country.