New Major Art Prize Launched

NBR 17 Oct 2012

A national drawing award attracting a major prize of $20,000 has been launched by Chris Parkin, arts patron and owner of New Zealand’s only boutique art hotel – Museum Art Hotel in Wellington.

Mr Parkin will fund the Parkin Prize for an initial five years. It is open to anyone who lives permanently in New Zealand or has New Zealand citizenship.

The award will seek to capture the spirit of invention, risk and discovery that is fundamental to drawing and making art.

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

“As a dedicated supporter of the arts, 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. 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.”

Academy of Fine Arts director Dr Warren Feeney says Mr Parkin’s initiative is greatly appreciated.

"It gives due attention to a critical aspect of making art that is often marginalised or neglected, even by sections of the arts community. Drawing reveals and confronts the immediate connections between an artist – their work and ideas – and the world in which they live.

"I would trust that it will become one of New Zealand’s most prestigious art competitions.”

The winning submission will be selected by the initial judge, associate professor and head of the School of Fine Arts at Massey University, Heather Galbraith. Finalists will be pre-selected by an advisory panel, members of which are currently under selection.

Entry forms and further information will soon be available on

Entries close on June 15, 2013, and the winner will be announced in late July to coincide with a public exhibition showcasing all finalists’ works at the Academy of Fine Arts in Wellington.


Anonymous 1 month ago
This is a marvellous initiative. For far too long too many thought that you don't need to draw to be an artist and its no longer taught in most institutions devoted to the teaching of art, with some might argue, catastrophic consequences.

#2 by Bouquets (& Brickbats where necessary) 1 month ago
I too am delighted to see more business sponsorship for the arts in New Zealand. Well done Chris! I also largely agree with the comments by this particular Anonymous - whether the consequences have been catastrophic or not, artists are also craftspeople and even if you choose to abandon technique to realise an artistic vision, it seems to me crucial that an artist stands on mastery of the craft. Applause for Chris for his unswerving support of the arts.

#3 by Graphite 1 month ago
This sponsorship is sophisticated and timely. The crowds at the exhibition of Matisse drawings at the Brisbane Art Gallery earlier this year were an indication of the resurgence of interest in drawing. For the aficionado it is a special language, intellectual, idiosyncratic, lyrical, focussed and unencumbered.

New Major Art Prize Launched

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