skip to main content

Ten Artists Contest the NZ Art Show’s 2015 Signature Piece Art Award

The NZ Art Show has selected 10 outstanding artworks as finalists for the Show’s principal award, the $3,000 Signature Piece Art Award. The Signature Piece Art Award is a ‘People’s Choice’ award with the winner being decided by a public vote over the three day Show which is being held in the Events Centre on the Wellington waterfront from Friday, 19 June to Sunday, 21 June 2015.

Carla Russell, the NZ Art Show’s Executive Director said, “The ten artworks chosen by the Selection Panel are amazing; five of which are by artists that are new to the NZ Art Show. This year all the artworks that won selection for the Show were eligible for the Signature Piece Art Award and given the standard of work at this year’s Show, selecting just ten was difficult. This promises to be our best Show to date.

“The finalists display great confidence in their work, they have something to say and the work invites a second look, some of it will challenge the Show’s visitors and require them to approach the work with an open mind.

“Now in its seventh year, the NZ Art Show’s Signature Piece Art Award has become a premier award for artists and it comes with significant benefits. Winning the Signature Piece Art Award is more than a $3,000 prize – it provides artists with additional recognition and profile, and has helped many recipients establish their careers as full-time professional artists.”

The 10 finalists and their selected works are:

Saehae Lee’s photograph ‘Somewhere to hide 2014’. Saehae graduated from the Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland in 2010 and is a full time artist and freelance photographer; she was a Signature Piece finalist in 2011 and 2012.

Matt Guild’s painting ‘Spaghetti Open Can’. Wairarapa artist Matt Guild specialises in Kiwiana paintings with a Hyper-realistic style. He finds inspiration from aspects of Kiwi culture and is passionate about evoking those special childhood memories. This is the first year Matt has exhibited at the NZ Art Show.

Kate Logan and Tom Box’s photograph ‘To Face the Barrens’. This work features ‘Creepy Bunny’ a character conceived by Tom Box and photographed by partner Kate Logan. Tom is a science fiction enthusiast who has a passion for dressing up, and together with Kate’s flair for photography they have been creating their own characters, setting up scenes and exploring these scenarios through photographs. This is the first time they have exhibited at the NZ Art Show.

Caroline Kennedy’s photograph ‘Pear’. Caroline Kennedy is a graduate of the Otago Polytechnic School of Art and has a Diploma in Graphic Design and a Diploma in Multimedia from Nicoll. She works in Wellington as a multimedia designer and spends her free time making photographs. This is Caroline’s first NZ Art Show.

Lara Gils’ photograph ‘lava’. Lara is a Wellington-based artist who takes photos to reflect how she sees the world. Her objective is to provoke reflection, perspective and re-interpretation through the use of symmetry. Her photos explore the harmonious qualities, tension and emotion in symmetrical images. This is Lara’s first NZ Art Show.

Bruce Mahalski’s paper, bone and granite ‘Kiribati Warrior’. Wellington-based artist Bruce Mahalski has had solo and group exhibitions of his art work in a range of media including screen-printing, photography, painting and sculpture since 1996. In 2005 he made the first bone gun for an anti-war exhibition called Full Spectrum Dominance and by 2010 he had begun to specialize in his trademark textural bone sculptures.

Bruce Mortimer’s charcoal and pencil work ‘Centred’. Bruce, who is from Porirua, has been a full time professional artist in one form or another for nearly twenty years, with an exhibition history in paintings, pastels and fine art photography. More recently he has concentrated solely on pencil drawings, recreating an almost photographic feel in landscape and people studies.

Douglas Reid’s painting ‘Three peaks from Pouaki Plateau’. Douglas is a Taranaki artist who has painted fulltime for nine years and has a gallery in New Plymouth. His detailed and realistic landscape paintings show express his love of the great outdoors. His body of work sold out last year at the NZ Art Show.

Frances van Dammen’s mixed media painting ‘Close Up’. Frances is an established artist whose works are widely collected, although this is the first time she has exhibited at the NZ Art Show. Her floral and plant works are richly detailed and intense, emerging from the deep blackness of the canvas beyond and sealing in resin.

Joe Helmore’s painting ‘Oblivion Melted by Spotlight’. Joe is an Auckland-based, self-taught contemporary artist and first time exhibitor at the NZ Art Show. His paintings are large and colourful, often depicting landscapes, animals and the wilderness.

The Signature Piece Art Award aims to recognise artistic excellence in the visual arts; highlight the work of promising artists for the future; encourage, develop and promote emerging artists to new artistic levels; and give the public the opportunity to choose the winning artist.

“The NZ Art Show Signature Piece Art Award provides yet another way in which the NZ Art Show can assist and support artists and the arts community. We look forward to announcing the winner once votes have been counted after the Show,” Carla Russell said.



About the NZ Art Show

The NZ Art Show makes it easy & affordable for any New Zealander to own a piece of original NZ art.

The NZ Art Show promotes a wide range of art covering all mediums with the aim of enabling all New Zealanders to own original art. At the same time, it has helped provide the means for emerging artists to become established and helped create a dynamic arts community for the public to discover new artists and start or add to their art collection.

At the core of the NZ Art Show operations is a three-day art event held each year in Wellington.

The annual NZ Art Show art is the largest curated art sale of its kind and each year exhibits around 3,000 original artworks by some 300 artists: the emphasis is on quality NZ art at affordable prices by emerging and established artists in a dynamic and stimulating environment. Over 11,000 visitors attended the 2014 Show, which was held from 25-27 July in the Events Centre on the Wellington waterfront.

The annual event is complemented by an online art gallery located on the NZ Art Show website,, and features a range of styles, mediums and prices. Artworks can be purchased directly from the artists. The online gallery extends the reach of NZ art to a wider audience and provides a further outlet for artists.

Consistent with the aim of promoting a vibrant art community and helping NZ artists establish themselves, the NZ Art Show currently provides two arts awards:

NZ Art Show Emerging Artist Awards

Four cash prizes of $2,500 each. The NZ Art Show Emerging Artist Awards are open to students studying visual art at degree and/or diploma level at a recognised tertiary art school in New Zealand.
Schools are invited to nominate their most promising students.
The winners will have their artworks exhibited at the NZ Art Show event in 2015

The 2015 Emerging Artist Award winners were: Rangiora artist Anna-Belle Graham from the University of Canterbury’s Ilam School of Fine Arts; Hannah Watkinson from the University of Canterbury’s Ilam School of Fine Arts; Sam Clague, another student from the University of Canterbury’s Ilam School of Fine Arts; and Mish O’Neill, from the Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design in Auckland.

Signature Piece Art Award

A cash prize of $3,000 awarded to an outstanding artwork chosen by the public.
10 finalists, chosen by the Show’s selection panel, are exhibited in the show’s Signature Piece Gallery at the NZ Art Show 2015 with the winner decided by public vote: all visitors to the Show can vote for their favourite.

The NZ Art Show’s vision is to encourage New Zealanders to celebrate NZ culture and identity through NZ art and to promote NZ artists by providing opportunities to further their development. As a not-for-profit organisation the NZ Art Show is a significant contributor to the NZ community with many people benefiting from its operations and activities: since its inception in 2004 some 96,000 people have enjoyed the art event, nearly $8 million has returned to artists via art sales and around $70,000 in art prizes awarded to artists.

The NZ Art Show receives no government funding. All the costs of running the Show, the online gallery and funding the Awards are covered by sponsorship, grants, art sales, admission and donations.



Ten Artists Contest the NZ Art Show’s 2015 Signature Piece Art Award

+ Text Size -