NZ Art Show Breaks ALL Records With a Bumper 2021 Show

It was a record-breaking show for the team at the NZ Art Show, with unprecedented demand for NZ art.  The buzz surrounding this year’s show was certainly felt in the lead up, and the event itself surpassed all expectations.  The 3-day NZ Art Show event which showcases around 3,000 pieces of original, affordable New Zealand art was cancelled last year due to Covid, but came back with a vengeance in 2021, and the numbers speak for themselves; more than 2,000 artworks found new homes, more than 10,000 attendees walked through the doors, and more than $2 million in art sales (previous show was 1.3m). Many artists sold out completely, which is the ultimate achievement for an art show of this size. 

More than 10,000 art lovers attended the 2021 NZ Art Show
Guests of sponsor ASB admiring photography by Wellington artist Nik Brinkman

Wellington artist Glen Jorna says “The public’s reaction was completely overwhelming, walking into an almost empty wall on opening night. By the end of the show, 20 out of 21 of my pieces went to new homes. To continue to realise that my art has an ability to resonate with people is an incredibly affirming, validating and emotional experience for me as an artist.  Once again, the NZ Art Show has been a wonderful experience for me, and has given me the confidence to keep on creating my art for others to see and enjoy in the future” 

Display of art by Glen Jorna. He sold 20 of his 21 artworks
View from above just after doors opened on the first day

Carla Russell, Executive Director of the NZ Art Show says “The public know that the NZ Art Show is the most significant show of its kind and the demand to attend this year was at an all-time high. This year we sold out of Gala Evening tickets earlier than usual, and we also sold out of Friend memberships – the first time ever in the show’s history.  2021 was a year of celebration and it proved to us how important the NZ Art Show is for Wellington and for the NZ arts community”.

Kicking off the show was the sell-out Gala Evening on Thursday 3rd June, opening the event in suitable style as more than 1200 art lovers celebrated New Zealand art in what can only be described as a frenzy of art hungry party goers.  It was a spectacular night of art and music, and patrons showed their love of art by kicking their heels up in style, purchasing 100’s of pieces of original NZ artworks. 

Russell says “I’m absolutely delighted with how the evening went, and it certainly set a precedent for the following days.  Everyone was in high spirits, relishing the opportunity to celebrate en masse after missing last year’s show which was cancelled due to lockdown. I always love how the Gala Evening as it brings together the artists and the business community in a relaxed and fun event”

Attendees were well rewarded as they were treated to thousands of stunning artworks by 210 artists, fine wine by Luna Estate, craft beer from Taranaki brewery Shining Peak and live music by The Yeabsley Brothers Trio featuring John Rae.

The show is also well known for its awards.  The People’s Choice Art Award, a $3,000 prize sponsored by Brendan Foot Supersite since 2016, was a popular part of the event and attracted thousands of public votes over the course of the show. Ten stand-out artworks were selected by a jury panel, and the winner was chosen based on the total number of votes.  A very clear winner emerged, with congratulations going to Christchurch artist Jamie Stewart for his winning oil painting ‘Passing Rains’.

Congratulations also to the other nine finalists who were chosen to feature on the coveted People’s Choice Award wall: ‘Wonder Where That Goes’, a steel wall sculpture by Christchurch artist Don Service; ‘Einstein’, acrylic painting by New Plymouth artist Harry Moores; ‘Congo’ a woven piece by Wellington artist Tim Christie; ‘Fierce’, graphite illustration by Levin artist FJS- Art; ‘Uncomfortable Persuasion (Two), oil painting by Wellington artist Samuel O’Malley; ‘Stingray Creek’, acrylic painting by Auckland artist Tanya Blong; ‘.Observerism’, a mixed media collage by Taranaki artist Milarky; ‘Through The Kitchen Window’, photography by Wellington artist Bella Foster; and ‘Resting’, a digital photograph by Taranaki artist Fay Looney.

Janine Whitelaw from Northland emerged as a winner for her mixed media painting ‘Beautiful Solitude’ which was selected for The Artist and the Rosé Award sponsored by Luna Estate Winery. The artwork will feature on the label for the 2022 Rosé.

The NZ Art Show wishes to thank the following for their support: