Thursday, April 8, 2021 10:00 AM 
Sunday, June 20, 202 4:00 PM

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Wallace Trust Collection Gallery
8 April - 20 June 2021

The annual Wallace Art Awards profile outstanding examples of contemporary New Zealand art. The aim of these important awards is to foster, honour and support the practices of visual artists. Over the years some of New Zealand’s most prominent artists have entered and the residencies awarded to the winners have transformed their careers. Past winners have included Imogen Taylor, Andy Leleisi’uao, Mark Braunias and Judy Millar.

Last year, due to the COVID-19 situation, the Annual Wallace Art Awards suspended its residential placements as prizes and instead is offering cash Awards to the total value of $132,000 in their place.
The exhibition showcases the works that won the ten prizes on offer, and the exciting works that make up the travelling show*. 

*Due to space restrictions in the Morrinsville gallery, 17 of the works are not able to be shown in our venue.


Sir James Wallace established the Annual Art Awards in 1992 and these Awards have for many years been the longest surviving and largest annual art awards of their kind in New Zealand. Over the years some of New Zealand’s most prominent artists have entered and many of the winners’ and finalists’ artworks have been purchased by the Trust to add to the Collection.
Part of the operating philosophy of the Awards has always been expansion, connection and development: by being offered artist residencies, awardees have gone on to expand the outlook of their practices, connected with a diverse range of peers locally and internationally resulting in the development of often quite different work from the type of art that garnered them the specific Award. In 28 previous iterations the Awards have themselves expanded to include six major international artist residencies based in prestigious institutions across the United States and Europe. The Awards have long standing relationships with the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York, Headlands Center for the Arts in California, Altes Spital in Switzerland and the British School at Rome. Fulbright New Zealand is a co-sponsor of one Award offered annually. 
The Wallace Art Awards are also the most democratic of Awards. The only restriction for entry is that the applicant must have New Zealand Citizenship or New Zealand Permanent Residency, which effectively opens it up to the entire resident population, as well as New Zealanders who live globally. Entries each year reflect this, with committed amateur artists entering alongside recognised professionals. 
The Awards are also notable for the diversity of artists who both enter and those who are deemed to be winners. Last year Awards were taken out by a group comprised of three men and six women, with two identifying as Māori, a couple as queer artists, all aged between their 20s and 60s, and hailing from places as far abroad as Kenya or as close to home as Onehunga.

The winners:

The Wallace Arts Trust Paramount Award Winner – Russ Flatt, Kōruru (knucklebones), 2020, Photographic image, printed on photorag, 1016 x 1016 x 250mm
The Wallace Arts Trust Second Award Winner – Darryn George, Mara #26, 2020, Oil pastel and acrylic on canvas, 1570 x 2180 x 55mm
The Wallace Arts Trust Third Award Winner – Glen Hayward, At night at the museum, 2020, Paint on timber, 180 x 450 x 550mm
The Wallace Arts Trust Fourth Award Winner – Martin Basher, Untitled, 2019, Oil on canvas, 1850 x 1400 x 7mm
The Wallace Arts Trust Fifth Award Winner – Sam Harrison, Self Portrait Torso, 2019, Steel, plaster, blood and ply, 1705 x 505 x 354mm
First Runner-up Award Winner – Virginia Leonard, Cripple, 2020, Clay, lustre and resin, 945 x 540 x 530mm
Second Runner-up Award Winner – Maryrose Crook, Herxing, 2020, Oil on canvas, 2438 x 1370 x 50mm
Jury Award Winner – Wanda Gillespie, A Counting Frame for Future Beings, 2020, Wood, brass, beads, coconut shell, table, 1250 x 800 x 1200mm
Images are in order top to bottom, left to right.


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