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Art writer a double Montana Book Awards finalist

2 June 2006

Art writer a double Montana Book Awards finalist

In a rare event, art writer Justin Paton has made the finals of the prestigious 2006 Montana New Zealand Book Awards in two categories.

Paton's highly praised book How to Look at a Painting is a finalist in the Lifestyle & Contemporary Culture category, and his book Jeffrey Harris in the Illustrative category. The winner of each category will receive a prize of $5000 and will be eligible for the overall prize for non-fiction, the Montana Medal.

Paton is curator of contemporary art at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery,

How to Look at a Painting has received glowing reviews, made the best-seller list, and is already into a second printing. It was selected by the Listener as a Best Book of 2005 and by The Press as Art Book of the Year.

It is published by new Wellington publisher Awa Press, which also celebrates its second anniversary today (Friday). Awa's publishing director Mary Varnham said How to Look at a Painting had been an enormous pleasure to produce. 'It is not often that you strike a writer of the calibre of Justin Paton. He has a huge future.'

Awa Press has had three best-sellers since it began publishing in June 2004. On May 6, National Business Review, after an industry survey, declared it New Zealand's most exciting publisher.

Jeffrey Harris, a co-production of Victoria University Press and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, was produced to accompany an exhibition of the work of the Dunedin-based painter.

The Montana winners will be announced at an awards ceremony dinner in Auckland on Monday 24th July.


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