Wellington Philanthropist Launches $20,000 Awards for Sculpture at the NZ Art Show 2021

Finalists of a new and significant sculpture award will be revealed at the NZ Art Show 2021, where one NZ artist will be awarded $15,000 and another five will receive $1,000 highly commended prizes. This is a very welcome announcement after a challenging year for the arts.

Founder Richard T Nelson is thrilled to champion these new Awards for Sculpture with the intention of it being an annual feature on New Zealand’s arts calendar.
“I want to reward excellence and my hope is that we will witness an exhibition of NZ’s finest work of small sculptures,’ says Nelson.’ I love the workmanship of sculpture and I appreciate the craftsmanship and skill that goes into creating 3D art. I can’t wait to see all of these works in one space.”
Carla Russell, Executive Director of the NZ Art Show says “The arts and events sector have been doing it tough in recent times and it’s this kind of support and appreciation that gives our industry a real boost. It’s very generous.”

Showcasing the finalists at the NZ Art Show is an obvious choice, with an audience of over 10,000 art lovers. “We are thrilled that the NZ Art Show will be the venue in which these sculptures are to be revealed to the public. On exhibition will be some examples of exquisite works of artistry from NZ sculptors: we are certainly excited about this addition to the NZ Art Show” says Russell. 

The Richard T Nelson Awards for Sculpture are specifically for small sculptures; works easily enjoyed in one’s home. All works will be for sale at the NZ Art Show. The brief is simple … works to be no bigger than 100cm x 80cm x 80cm. It is anticipated that around 80 finalists will be on exhibition at the NZ Art Show in Wellington from 3 – 6 June 2021.

A selection panel will be announced in the new year; but the artists can feel confident that their work will be judged by a group of art experts.

Images from Top to bottom; left to right: Richard T Nelson with Chair of NZ Art Show, Anne Stephenson. Sculptures by: Anneke Bester, Ramon Robertson, Olivier Duhamel

Artists may register their interest at

A dedicated website will be launched soon.

The NZ Art Show has a long history of exhibiting the works from talented sculptors. Images below: Sculptures below by Daniel Campion, Melissa Young, Volker Hawighorst, Sean Crawford, Ricahrd Landers

Friends of the NZ Art Show and Sponsors will have the opportunity to view and purchase these artworks first at an exclusive pre NZ Art Show event.

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