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Search on for NZ’s Most Talented Emerging Artists

Media Release

14th June 2006

Search is on for New Zealand’s Most Talented Emerging Artist

The search is on for New Zealand’s most talented up-and-coming artists in the fourth annual Mazda Emerging Artist Award open to fine art students throughout the country.

By entering the award, students get the chance to share in a cash prize pool of $17,500, and have the opportunity to exhibit their work at one of New Zealand’s largest and most popular art exhibitions.

The competition is staged as part of the Mazda Artworks charity art exhibition at the Hilton Auckland (August 28th – 2nd September). All emerging art will be on display and available for the public to purchase during the week.

Peter Aitken, managing director of Mazda New Zealand Ltd, stresses the importance of encouraging New Zealand’s emerging talent.

“Tertiary art students often face significant financial hurdles and the Mazda Emerging Artist Award is a means of offering reward and recognition for our up and coming artists,” said Mr Aitken.

“It is not just about coming first, second or third, but about providing a medium for the students to gain exposure of their art to a wide public audience and in many cases secure the first sale of their own work.”

Last year over 5,000 people viewed the exhibition, and many of them purchased a piece of emerging art.

Being named the Mazda Emerging Artist can truly kick-start an art career as previous winners have discovered.

Glenn Hayward, the inaugural winner of the award in 2003 has since held a number of exhibitions, most recently in the Auckland Art Gallery and the Centre of Contemporary Art in Christchurch.

“Winning the Mazda Emerging Artist Award adds value to your name. Even two years after I’d won, people are still aware that I’d won it and continue to acknowledge this achievement,” said Glenn Hayward.

Last year’s winner, Bernadette Ballantyne from Wanganui says: “It has been a really good stepping stone for me and has really opened up doors. I’ve just had my first solo exhibition.”

Karen McPherson who was named Mazda Emerging Artist in 2004 said winning the award was a great confidence booster and the reason she decided to carry on studying fine art. “I couldn’t believe it when my winning painting, which I’d priced at $500, sold for $3,700 at the Artworks’ Auction.”

The Mazda Emerging Artist Award is open to all 3rd and 4th year and post-graduate art students currently studying at a fine arts college within New Zealand. They are invited to enter a painting, drawing, photograph or print.

The three winning pieces will be auctioned off at a black tie dinner with proceeds going to charity. Commission from the sale of all remaining emerging art entries will be split between; Variety – The Children’s Charity, The Spirit of Adventure Trust, The Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, the Liggins Institute and the Auckland Philharmonia.

Students wanting to enter need to register by Friday 28th July. For more information and registration forms log on to


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