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Portrait Award Attracts Record Entry Numbers

MEDIA RELEASE

19 March 2006


Portrait Award Attracts Record Entry Numbers

The 203 entries to this year’s Adam Portraiture Award are a new record for the biennial competition according to the New Zealand Portrait Gallery.

“The response has been outstanding and shows the wide interest in portraiture all over New Zealand,” says Avenal McKinnon, the Gallery’s director.

“It’s especially gratifying because one of the National Portrait Gallery’s aims is to foster the art of portraiture in New Zealand and the Adam Award is a key element in that strategy,” Mrs McKinnon says.

Though entries closed on Friday Avenal McKinnon says a preliminary survey of the submissions shows a wide range of subject matter and media.

“The range of subjects is considerable - from historical figures to current political personalities as well as children and families,” she says.

To be eligible portraits must be painted, but alongside the traditional style of painting many artists have also incorporated other media and a wide range of styles, according to Avenal McKinnon.

“So far there’s nothing quite like the 2004 winner [by Ryuzo Nishida] which included the use of painted steel nails.”

The Adam Portraiture award is held every two years and 2006 marks the third time the competition has taken place.

This year’s judge is James Holloway who is the Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery which was the first gallery in the world to be dedicated to portraits.

The winner will be announced on March 14 at an award ceremony to be held at Shed 11 in Wellington.

The New Zealand Portrait Gallery operates as a Trust. Among its aims are to maintain a multimedia gallery for the portrayal of the people of New Zealand; to provide opportunities to increase public interest in New Zealand’s identity through portraiture; and to encourage artists working in any medium to portray the people of New Zealand.

ENDS

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