Shortlist revealed in ‘record-breaking year’ for Parkin Drawing Prize

Recycled pants, living bacteria on a ceiling tile, op-shop bed sheets, and ball point pen on eco-toilet paper are just some of the interesting materials used to create works shortlisted in the 2021 Parkin Drawing Prize.

The competition attracted an impressive 563 entries, making it the highest number of entries since 2014 – a year after the prize launched. Of those entries, a short-list of 80 works have been selected for the national drawing competition, founded by philanthropist and arts patron, Chris Parkin.

“It’s quite remarkable to see such a strong number of entries especially given the year we’ve all had.

It proves creativity is alive and well in Aotearoa but also it comes down to the fact the competition has become such a prestigious event and built up a fantastic reputation over the years, no one wants to miss out!” said Chris Parkin.

Attracting a major prize of $25,000, ten highly commended prizes worth $500.00 will also be awarded.

An advisory panel, consisting of leading painter John Walsh of Aitanga a Hauiti/ New Zealand Irish descent, contemporary ceramics artist Virginia Leonard, and Director of Art at ART+OBJECT auctioneers Ben Plumbly, spent hours assessing hundreds of entries before coming up with the short-list.

The works will be showcased at the Parkin Drawing Prize exhibition at the NZ Academy of Fine Arts (3 August – 29 August) and the winning submission will be selected and announced by Dr Sarah Farrar, Head of Curatorial and Exhibitions at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, at the gala announcement of the Parkin Drawing Prize exhibition on Monday 2 August 2021.

All the artworks will be for sale giving admirers and collectors the opportunity to purchase some wonderful pieces which are unlikely to be seen again, given many of the finalists are not represented in any gallery.

“It will be interesting to see what works and themes come through for this exhibition, especially after we have experienced such a turbulent year. I encourage the public to get out and enjoy the exhibition during August and put their money where their mouth is by supporting local and buying the art!” said Chris Parkin, founder of the Parkin Drawing Prize.

Works in the award exhibition range in size from the small (35 mm x 23 mm) to the very large (3metres x 1.5metres). Entries have been received throughout New Zealand from Russell to as far south as Dunedin.


For more information/interview opportunities please contact:

Rebecca Reed: Email:

Phone: 021 205 7718

Finalists announced for 2021 Parkin Drawing Prize

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