Gala Evening A Show Stopper

Oh, What a Night! Art is the Big Winner at the NZ Art Show Gala.

Wellington’s art party of the year was a night not to be missed, kicking off the 2019 NZ Art Show weekend.  The highly anticipated Gala Evening, held Thursday night at Wellington’s TSB Arena, attracted more than 1200 people and saw art enthusiasts enjoying an evening of conversation, canapes and art buying.

Carla Russell, Executive Director says “Another very successful gala under our belts, bringing with it high excitement for this year’s show.  What I love about the Gala is that it brings our business community and our art community together, creating a buzzing event for all”.

One of the most exciting parts about the NZ Art Show are the 7 awards that are given out annually, totalling $14,500 in cash prizes.  Every single artist in the show is eligible for at least one of these awards, and the public are invited to take part in the selection of the biggest award, the People’s Choice Award, awarded to a single piece of stand-out art.    

The 2019 winners and finalists in the following categories were announced at the Gala Evening:

Artworks by one of the recipients of the RT Nelson Emerging Artist Awards, Vivian Jin

The RT Nelson Emerging Artist Award – comprised of 4 x $2,500 cash prizes awarded to artists in the emerging stages of their careers. Congratulations to: Chirag Jindal, School of Architecture, University of Auckland; Vivian Jin, Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland; Gerry Parke, Whitecliffe College of Creative Arts; and Samuel O’Malley, College of Creative Arts, Massey University.

The People’s Choice Art Award – this piece is chosen by the public, from ten stand-out pieces selected by the judging panel – congratulations to the ten finalists: Gerry Parke (Auckland), Tanya Blong (Auckland), Joel Hart (Christchurch), Andy Spain (Wellington), Richards Landers (New Plymouth), Antony Nobilo (Sydney), roOm (Gisborne), Vivian Jin (Auckland), Chirag Jindal (Auckland), and Don Service, (Christchurch).

The Signature Promotions Art Award – a $1,000 prize and a $500 prize awarding excellence in the visual arts and is open to all on-site artists at the show – congratulations to Joel Hart (Christchurch) and Rosie Ralph (New Plymouth).Russell says “The NZ Art Show would like to warmly congratulate the winners and the finalists, all of whom are totally worthy of such recognition.  We’d also like to thank the judging panel for their time and effort put into selecting these finalists and winners which is no easy feat in a pool of such high quality works”.

The Gala Evening is the beginning of the 4-day event which showcases more than 2,000 pieces of original, affordable NZ art.  More than 10,000 visitors are expected through the doors this weekend.

Four of the finalists for the People’s Choice Art Award. Artists are, from left to right: Richard Landers, Antony Nobilo, roOm, and Vivian Jin.

Chirag Jindal, one of the recipients of the RT Nelson Emerging Artist Award and finalist for the People’s Choice Art Award in front of one of his artworks.