The judging panel consisting of recognised art practitioners, collectors, and academics have been selected for 2018 Parkin Drawing Prize national competition.

The prestigious award attracting a major prize of $20,000 was launched six years ago by Chris Parkin, arts patron, philanthropist and former owner of Museum Art Hotel in Wellington.

Entries are now open to anyone living permanently in New Zealand. 10 highly commended prizes each worth $500.00 will also be offered, providing an added incentive for artists.

An advisory panel, consisting of John Gow, Director of Gow Langsford Gallery, highly regarded art curator and writer Emma Bugden and Simon Rees, Director of Govett Brewster, will select the finalists for the exhibition at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts (17 July to 19 August 2018).

The winning submission will be selected and announced by renowned New Zealand painter Kelcy Taratoa at the opening of the Parkin Drawing Prize exhibition on Tuesday 16 July 2018.

“I believe the Parkin Drawing Prize elevates the discipline of drawing to its rightful place alongside its preeminent contemporaries and plays a significant role in recording the evolution of drawing in the context of Aotearoa, New Zealand. I wish all those submitting works for this year’s Parkin Drawing Prize all the very best, and thank them for their contribution to one of New Zealand’s most important arts events on the national arts calendar,” said Taratoa.

Founder Chris Parkin says the selection of judges continues a track record of high-calibre judges for the competition since its inception in 2012.

“I’m delighted with this years line-up of judges, particularly because they all bring to the table a wealth of ideas, experience and alternative conservations from different facets of the art world – we have a Curator who’s held prestigious positions internationally and at home, a highly respected art dealer, collector and consultant, and a renowned New Zealand painter and art teacher. I’m excited to see what we have in store for 2018 and am once again anticipating another thought provoking exhibition for this year’s event,” said Parkin. 

The competition, in association with the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, promotes excellence and innovation in drawing in all its forms (processes, materials and ideas) and aims to play an important role in fostering New Zealand drawing practice.

Previous recipients of the award include Monique Jansen (2013) with AO Folded Moire Drawing ; Douglas Stichbury (2014) with Observer , Gabrielle Amodeo (2015) with The Floor We Walk On , Hannah Beehre (2016) with Catastrophe and Kirsty Lillico’s State Block last year.

Entries close at 4pm on June 8, 2018. Forms and full details are available at


For media enquires please contact:

Rebecca Reed at or visit for more information on the award.

Biographies of the 2018 judging panel

John Gow

John Gow is the founding Director of Gow Langsford Gallery.  With extensive experience advising private collectors, acting as a consultant to corporate collections, museums and public institutions, Gow is an expert in New Zealand Art. With over thirty years in the industry, John has specialist expertise in historical New Zealand art and indigenous artefacts and a personal interest in collecting 19th and early 20th century photography, contemporary New Zealand paintings and sculpture, and post contact Maori objects.

Emma Bugden

Emma Bugden is a curator and writer based in New Zealand. She is currently Co-founder and Editor of Small Bore Books, a Trustee of the Blumhardt Foundation and a PhD candidate at Victoria University, Wellington.

Bugden has previously held curatorial roles in New Zealand including Senior Curator at The Dowse Art Museum, Director of ARTSPACE and Curatorial Director at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts.

She was the New Zealand Nominator for the Signature Art Prize 2018 at the Singapore Art Museum, Judge of the Portage Ceramic Awards 2017 and a Juror for the 2016 Walters Prize at Auckland Art Gallery.

Simon Rees

Simon Rees is the Director of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth.  Previously, Simon was Head of Programming and Development at  the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art (MAK), in Vienna, with responsibilities for museum management, curatorial development and fundraising. Simon first joined the Govett-Brewster in 2002 as the then Curator of Contemporary Art. Before that he held positions as a New Zealand Herald reviewer, a Metro columnist, Art Text editor and Curator for Artspace in Sydney, as well as lecturing at the University of New South Wales. In 2005 Simon took up a role in Lithuania for the Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius, firstly as a Curator and Editor, then as Head of the exhibitions department. During this time he was also the Commissioner of the award-winning Lithuanian national pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

Head Judge

Kelcy Taratoa

Kelcy Taratoa is a New Zealand painter and art teacher whose work includes bold colours, references to comic books, heroes, television series and film. Since 2003, his works have been exhibited throughout public and private collections in New Zealand and overseas. Taratoa is of Ngai Te Rangi and Ngati Raukawa descent and describes himself as an “urban Maori detribalised and culturally displaced. He spent 12 years studying, teaching and producing his own work in Palmerston North before he moved to Tauranga to take up a position teaching the Bachelor of Creative Industries (BCI) degree at Bay of Plenty Polytechnic.

Judges announced for prestigious Parkin Drawing Award.

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