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Jewellery Student Scoops Prestigious Dowse Award

For immediate release
June 4 2002

Fine Arts Jewellery Student Scoops Prestigious Dowse Award

An Auckland jewellery student has won a prestigious national art award, the Friends of the Dowse Student Design / Craft Award for 2002.

Shelley Norton, a student studying a Bachelor of Visual Arts at The University of Auckland at Manukau, out-designed thirty art students from all around the country to scoop the award, worth $1500. It is the first time that a student from the University has won this award.

It will be presented at a special dinner ceremony on Thursday June 6, when Friends of the Dowse will be celebrating their 30-year anniversary. Shelley will be flown down from Auckland to receive the award.

“I have always been involved in arts and crafts. My mother, who trained as an art teacher, taught me a lot of craft techniques and encouraged me to be creative from an early age,” says Shelley.

“I grew up in Southland where my parents ran a brick and field tile business that was established over 100 years ago by my great grandfather, so I was used to experimenting with a wide variety of materials.”

Shelley has been a physiotherapist for a number of years and says she is enjoying immersing herself in a visual arts degree.

“To win such an award is a great honour,” she says. “The University has been superb – the lecturers have been extremely generous and supportive of my studies.”

Originally offered once every two years, last year the Friends of the Dowse decided to offer the Student’s Design/ Craft Award annually, to encourage students in this field. Dowse Programmes Developer Claire Regnault says Shelley’s entry was outstanding.

“All the judges were unanimous in their decision – Shelly’s work is very well resolved and demonstrated a maturity in conceptual thought and adept use of materials, as well as being delightfully whimsical. We are thrilled that Shelley has won this award.”

The Dowse Art Museum, at 45 Laings Road, Lower Hutt, is highly regarded both nationally and internationally as New Zealand's principal venue for the exhibition and collection of contemporary New Zealand craft and design.


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