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'Outsider Art' Blossoms With Record Entries

‘Outsider Art’ Blossoms With Record Entries for 2006 IHC Telecom Art Awards

The popularity of the IHC Telecom Art Awards continues to grow with a record number of artists with an intellectual disability submitting artworks for the 2006 Awards.

Almost 600 artworks were received this year, up 40% from the 424 entries for the 2005 Awards and double the number received for the inaugural awards in 2004.

IHC Chief Executive Ralph Jones says the increase underlines the important part the Awards are playing in encouraging the creativity and art of New Zealanders with an intellectual disability.

“So-called ‘outsider’, or self-taught, art has recently become something of a hot topic in the mainstream art world, and the collection of works this year is a wonderful reflection of the diverse and unique perspectives these artists have to offer.

“About 14,000 people visited last year’s Awards exhibition at The Dowse art gallery in Wellington and that level of public recognition has itself become a motivation for many artists to enter,” he said.

The standing of the IHC Telecom Awards is also reflected in this year’s judging panel – artists Dick Frizzell and Andy Leleisi’uao and the Auckland Museum’s curator of Applied Arts, Louis Le Vaillant. They will select 30 artworks from the 600 initial entries for a national exhibition at the Centre of Contemporary Art (COCA) in Christchurch from 13th June to 2nd July.

The 30 finalists’ artworks to be exhibited at COCA will comprise ten finalists chosen from each of three regions around New Zealand (Upper North, Lower North and the South Island). The regional judging will take place from 10am on Wednesday 10th May at the following venues:

Region Gallery Judge
Northern SANDZ Gallery, 6 Kent St, Hamilton Louis Le Vaillant
Central Alpha Art Studio, 3-5 Alpha St, Wellington Dick Frizzell
Southern Cultured Gallery, 229B Fitzgerald Ave, Christchurch Andy Leleisi’

Members of the public can view the artworks at these centres on weekdays between 10am and 3pm until Friday 2nd June. The 30 regional finalists will be announced on Tuesday 16th May with the overall winners of the IHC Telecom Art Awards to be announced at a national Awards function and auction at COCA in Christchurch on 30th June.

The IHC Telecom Art Awards are part of Telecom’s Community Connection sponsorship programme which provides charitable organisations with more than $5 million in support each year. In 2005, Telecom’s support of the IHC Telecom Art Awards won a NZ Sponsorship Award.


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