The NZ Art Show Records Another Successful Show As Crowds Queue

Queues of art lovers snaking down the side of the Wellington’s TSB Arena an hour before doors opened heralded the start of a successful weekend of art at the annual NZ Art Show.

Thousands of art lovers came to view around 2,000 artworks from nearly 200 artists: more than 1,600 artworks were sold bringing in more than $2 million of art sales.

Artwork by Wellington artist Lily Custance greets attendees at the entrance to the show.
Anna Stichbury (L) has been exhibiting with the show for a number of years, while this was Kate McLeod’s (R) first time with the show

Carla Russell, the show’s Executive Director, is thrilled with the results.
‘It is encouraging to see the arts receiving huge support in this current climate.  The NZ Art Show is dynamic, diverse and there really is something for everyone. People can come to browse, engage with the artists and be in an inspiring environment where they know that they can purchase an artwork that is of quality and direct from the maker.  Now in our 19th year, the NZ Art Show has firmly cemented its reputation in the art fair world in Aotearoa.  We put a lot of time and effort into designing a polished and exceptional show for everyone to enjoy and it’s such a thrill seeing the artists have huge successes due to the NZ Art Show.

‘This is the second year in a row that the show has generated $2 million in sales, a sure sign that the public’s eagerness to own original New Zealand art remains strong.’

Russell attributes part of the show’s success to the high quality of the artwork and the number of new artists who haven’t exhibited with the show before.

’40% of the artists were exhibiting for the first time, giving our regular attendees a great range of new artists to select from,’ says Russell. ‘It’s important that we keep the show fresh with new and upcoming talent. Also, our regular artists are pushing the boundaries of their craft, demonstrating that they’re moving forward with their artistic development.’

A diptych by Christchurch artist Nathan Ingram, a new-comer to the NZ Art SHow
Wellington artist Juliet Best (R) sold out of her works.

Ten artists sold out of their artworks with Wellington artist Juliet Best selling all 23 of her works. Another big seller was Auckland artist John Goodey who, whilst he didn’t sell out, he sold a whopping 70 pieces.

Kicking off the show was the sell-out Gala Evening on Thursday 2nd June, as 1,000 art lovers celebrated in a spectacular night of art and music, and art lovers.

Russell says ‘I’m absolutely delighted with how the evening went, and it certainly set a precedent for the following days.  I always love how the Gala Evening brings together the artists and the business community in a relaxed and fun event. I’m proud of what we bring to the art-loving community – both the artists and art-lovers are winners at the end of the day’ 

Seven artists also won big at the show with a number of awards getting handed out.

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 Wellington artist Jane Blackmore for her winning piece, an oil painting titled ‘Love Returned’.

‘The painting is based on the Orongorongo Mountains I see from my home in Worser Bay.’ Says Blackmore. ‘It’s my interpretation of the sunsets reflecting off those hills.’

‘Love Returned’ by Wellington artist Jane Blackmore won the Brendan Foot Supersite People’s Choice Award

Congratulations also to the other nine finalists: ‘Float’ism’ acrylic and aersol painting by Milarky (New Plymouth); ‘Skull City (Dcypher)’, LED lightbox by Atarau Lighting (Canterbury); ‘Pyramid’, oil painting by Samuel O’Malley (Wellington), ‘Bird Brain’, multiplate woodcut by Ben Reid(Canterbury); ‘Lake Rotoiti 3’, photographic print by roOm (Gisborne); ‘Watching the World Go By, archival pigment print’ by Mahani del Borrello (Wellington); ‘SL024’, oil painting by Nikki Corbishley (Wellington); ‘Sid and Lizzy Read The News’, acrylic painting by Christian Nicolson (Auckland); ‘Aqua Ring 3D’, Perspex and ink by Che Rogers (New Plymouth).

Five artists shared the prestigious $20,000 RT Nelson Awards for Sculpture with Lissy and Rudi Robinson-Cole from Auckland winning the Premier award of $15,000 for their artworks Harikoa – Aroā Nukunuku and Paki – He Taonga Tuku Iho, hand carvings embellished with crocheted neon NZ wool.

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