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NZ Arts Foundation announces five art laureates

NZ Arts Foundation announces five art laureates at special function

Five artists were tonight made laureates of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand at the foundation’s fourth annual Laureate Awards special ceremony in Christchurch.

They were: Poet - Jenny Bornholdt, sculptor – Neil Dawson, writer / actor / director – Michael Hurst, furniture-maker – Humphrey Ikin and composer – John Psathas. Each recipient was gifted $40,000 to help further their career. They also received a statuette by New Zealand artist Terry Stringer, a dedicated page on the foundation’s website and an opportunity to take part in Laureate Artists Forums.

One of the recipients Jenny Bornholdt said the award effectively gave her a year to be able to do her own work. ``It's marvellous - the most liberating gift anyone can give a writer,” she said.

The five artists will join the foundation’s existing laureates Briar Grace-Smith, Elizabeth Knox, Peter Peryer, Gillian Karawe Whitehead, Douglas Wright, Phil Dadson, Kate De Goldi, Michael Parekowhai, Gaylene Preston, Don McGlashan, Shona McCullagh, Medlyn, Jacob Rajan and Warwick Freeman.

The selection panel included Sunny Amey and Gisella Carr, Elric Hooper, Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, Rodney Wilson and Jeremy Winter.

These annual awards receive substantial backing from principal sponsor, Forsyth Barr. This year’s award winners received $10,000 more than in previous years because of public donations to the foundation and Lottery Board grants.

``The $200,000 Laureate Awards are making a real difference to the lives of some of our finest artists,’’ foundation chairman Richard Cathie said.

Executive director Simon Bowden said one of the best parts of his job was confirming with the laureates that they would accept the award.

``No one has turned down the money yet. These awards are making a real difference to the lives of some of our finest artists,’’ he said.

The Laureate Award is one of New Zealand's largest cash art awards and it is the only one of its kind to cover a range of art forms. They are made annually to people in the New Zealand arts community who can benefit from furthering their careers.

Copyright 2003 Word Of Mouth Media NZ

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