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IHC launches 2008 IHC Telecom Art Awards

Media release 3 June 2008

IHC launches 2008 IHC Telecom Art Awards

IHC is calling for entries in the IHC Telecom Art Awards 2008 – the major showcase of the talents of artists with intellectual disabilities.

The Art Awards are open to all New Zealanders with an intellectual disability, whether or not they use IHC services.

The top 30 entries, selected from regional competitions to be held over the next few months, will be exhibited at TheNewDowse (correct) in Lower Hutt, Wellington in September. From this line-up, the national winners are chosen and members of the public can places bids to take home their favourite pieces.

The awards will be judged by author/ illustrators Gavin Bishop and David Elliot and Claire Regnault from TheNewDowse.

Gavin Bishop, with author Joy Cowley, last month (May 21) won this year's top children's prize at the New Zealand Post Book Awards. Gavin has recently completed writing and illustrating a 120-page "autobiographical adventure" story, called Piano Rock, based on his life between the ages of three and eight years and is presently working on three other books.

A former art teacher, Gavin says he is used to assessing work by others and looks forward to his first experience of judging the IHC Telecom Awards. He says his daughter, a gallery curator, told him: "When you go to the auction, you will probably come home with half the work because you will love it."

David Elliot illustrates a wide range of children's books, mainly for Penguin in the United States. He is currently working with author, Margaret Mahy, on a 168-page anthology of her poetry, for which he'll complete up to 90 illustrations.

David says he feels privileged to be part of the process. He expects the art works will be full of colour and quite different from his own. "I am primarily a drawing person so I always admire colour and painterliness in other peoples' work."

Claire Regnault has worked as a curator in galleries and museums for 15 years. At TheNewDowse, she has worked on projects as diverse as Hip Hop, performance design, fashion and youth entrepreneurship. The regional art exhibitions will be held in Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch during July and August. Members of the public will be able to view the artworks at SANDZ Gallery, Hamilton, Art House, Petone (Wellington),The Arts Centre, Christchurch.

The national exhibition will be held at TheNewDowse from 12 September through to early 2009.

The IHC Telecom Art Awards were established in 2004 to encourage and recognise creativity from New Zealanders with an intellectual disability. Over the years it has become an important event, with over 600 people entering in 2007.

The awards to the four winners will be presented at a function in Wellington on Wednesday 24 September 2008 at TheNewDowse in Lower Hutt. First prize is $5000, second prize is $2000 and two third equal place winners each receive $1000.

The ten finalists selected from each region will be announced in July.

Online bidding will be available again, as well as online viewing of the 30 finalist art works.

IHC thanks Telecom for supporting the Art Awards as part of their Community Connection sponsorship programme.

Art works and entry forms must be submitted between 6 June and 4 July 2008. The closing date is 4 July 2008 at 4pm. The entry form and conditions of entry can be downloaded from the IHC website


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