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Ten artists vie for 2014 NZ Art Show's Signature Piece Art Award

NZ Art Show News Release: 19 July 2014

The NZ Art Show has selected 10 outstanding artworks as finalists for the Show’s principal award, the $5,000 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. This year’s NZ Art Show is being held in the TSB Bank Arena from Friday, 25 July to Sunday, 27 July 2014.

The Convenor of the Selection Panel and NZ Art Show trustee, Jo Hughes said, “The quality of the work submitted for this year’s Signature Award is outstanding, which made choosing just 10 artworks really difficult. 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. This promises to be our best Show to date.”

Carla Russell, the NZ Art Show’s Executive Director said, “Now in its sixth year, The 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 $5,000 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:

  • Harry Culy’s photograph ‘Cornfield, Waikato, 2013’. Harry was a Signature Piece Art Award finalist last year and recently completed a photography degree at Massey University’s College of Creative Arts. His images portray a distinctive nostalgic air reminiscent of the late 60’s early 70’s photography. Harry’s subjects are wild and varied including people, animals, architecture, and landscapes both urban and pastoral. A lot of his subjects are, he says, weird. Harry currently lives in Melbourne where he is pursuing further photographic opportunities.
  • Rebecca Phillips’ acrylic painting on board ‘Transience’. Rebecca is a Wellington-based painter and graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Fine arts with honours in 2009. Her preferred medium is acrylic on wood but she also enjoys experimenting with enamel and has recently tried her hand at projection art in a theatrical collaboration in late 2013. Her paintings often feature flowers. This is Rebecca’s second NZ Art Show and she was also a Signature Piece Art Award finalist last year.
  • Catherine Roberts’ ‘Vulnerable’, mixed media work on canvas with a rimu frame. Catherine lives on Wellington’s south coast where she has painted her semi-abstract landscapes since 1997. She draws her inspiration from her environment, in particular New Zealand forest and bush scenes. She has a long association with the NZ Art Show, was artist in residence in the Show’s Lyall Bay Gallery in 2010 and a Signature Piece Award finalist in 2010 and 2011.
  • Kelsi Doscher’s photograph ‘Fading narrative’. Kelsi was also a Signature Piece finalist last year. She emigrated to New Zealand from the US in 2005, after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art and Psychology. She lives in Wellington, works in digital media and dedicates her free time to producing art photography. Each of her amazing works are captured using a Holga camera, on 120mm film with a double exposure in a single frame.
  • Joe McMenamin’s striking ‘Dead or Alive’, mixed media on wood grain. Joe has been a NZ Art Show exhibitor for the last five years. He has a Bachelor of Media Arts, majoring in Painting and Sculpture at the Waikato Institute of Technology in 2003 and then trained as a Secondary School Art Teacher. He’s currently teaching art at Rongotai College in Wellington. Since graduating he has exhibited in group shows in Hamilton, Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington as well as producing many commissioned works. He’s interested in the relationship between abstract patterns and silhouettes, likes using humour and movie or TV shows as a source of inspiration and images, and enjoys the contrast of ink on wood grain.
  • Jules German’s ‘Untitled’, screen printing on a prepared surface. Currently living in Lower Hutt, Jules has Certificate of Fine Arts from Manawatu Polytechnic 1995 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Dunedin School of Art at Otago Polytechnic 2000. Jules has exhibited in numerous group shows, in New Zealand, South Korea and Spain, and appeared on TVNZ’s award winning creative culture show ‘The Gravy’.
  • David Bedggood’s ‘Skyward Series’ of architectural photographs. David lives and works in Wellington as a photographer, graphic designer and typographer. He has an Honours Degree in Graphic Design. David is a first time exhibitor at the NZ Art Show.
  • Cindy Flook’s ‘Cityline’, a finely detailed photo manipulation printed on a polished metal sheet. A fulltime artist living in Nelson, Cindy has a Bachelor of Visual Arts from NMIT in New Zealand and a Master of Fine Arts from RMIT Melbourne. Cindy has exhibited extensively in New Zealand, was a finalist in a James Wallace Exhibition and has won numerous awards. Her work is held in private collections in New Zealand, Australia, US and UK.
  • Monique Lacey’s ‘Interrupted’, an abstract mixed media work on canvas. Auckland-based, Monique has been a NZ Art Show exhibitor since 2010. Her art practice is very process driven, she often works on larger canvasses to create abstract works using both oil and acrylic paints with a colour palette consisting mainly of muted earthy tones. Monique regularly exhibits throughout the North Island and was a finalist for the Clifton Art prize.
  • Ben Nienhoff’s photograph ‘Memorial Park’. This is Ben’s first year at the NZ Art Show, born in Germany he’s now based in Wellington and predominantly uses alternative photographic processes. He currently focuses on an early method of capturing photographic images; ‘wet-plate collodion’. His work has a dreamlike quality, extreme sharpness and shallow depth which makes his images both painterly and photographic.

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.

“Established in 2009, 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 on the Wednesday 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.

The 2014 Show will be held July 25 – 27 in the TSB Bank Arena, Queens Wharf on the Wellington waterfront with a Gala Evening held on Thursday, 24 July.

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 2014.
Signature Piece Art Award
  • A premiere cash prize of $5,000 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 2014 with the winner decided by public vote: all visitors to the Show can vote for their favourite.

The New Zealand Affordable Art Trust (NZAAT) governs the NZ Art Show. Its 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 charitable organisation the NZAAT is a significant contributor to the NZ community with many people benefiting from NZAAT operations and activities: since its inception in 2004 nearly 85,000 people have enjoyed the art event, nearly $7 million has returned to artists via art sales and around $60,000 in art prizes awarded to artists.

The NZAAT 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 vie for 2014 NZ Art Show's Signature Piece Art Award

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