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NZ Museum Awards 2014 Finalists

Announcement: NZ Museum Awards 2014 Finalists

27 March 2013

Museum Awards finalists taking it to the streets

Rather than seeing the museum or gallery as a place which audiences passively visit, many of the finalists in the 2014 NZ Museum Awards have reached out beyond their walls. From Auckland to the far south, covering everything from fine art to scientific exploration, the Museum Awards showcase the best exhibitions, public programmes and innovative projects from museums and art galleries throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.

When entries closed for the 2014 NZ Museum Awards, the judging panel was faced with a problem – there were twice as many entries as in previous years, and they needed more time to work through them all. "I see the huge number of diverse entries is a reflection of our thriving museum and gallery scene," says guest judge Helma van den Berg, founder of Hawke's Bay's Clearview Estate winery.

Christchurch Art Gallery, a previous multiple winner, once again has a project in the finals, which must surely win the prize for the longest name. With its building still closed, the gallery has continued to take art to the people with Burster Flipper Wobbler Dripper Spinner Stacker Shaker Maker, an exhibition deliberately focussed on 'making'. The destruction of the Canterbury earthquakes has restricted cultural opportunities for families and children, and Burster Flipper offered a colourful insight into the energy and joy of art-making.

Also 'rising' from the earthquakes is Canterbury Museum, with three entries among the finalists. RISE – Street Art has been an incredibly inspiring and empowering project, bringing unprecedented new audiences and new ideas into a venerable institution. Red Zone Bus Tours is another of Canterbury Museum's finalists – literally taking the museum experience to the streets.

Another finalist out in the street was Museums Wellington with Great Strike 1913, which included a traffic-stopping re-enactment of mounted police in Lambton Quay.

Back in Christchurch, High Street Stories brings past and present together. NZ Historic Places Trust worked with HITLab and other technology innovators to produce an augmented reality experience which helps people to understand what was, and what now is, the fabric of Christchurch.

The 2014 entries pushed many boundaries. "It is inspiring to see this increased interest, as well as the range of activities which our museums are bringing into their communities," says Phillipa Tocker, Executive Director of Museums Aotearoa. "We are extremely grateful for the expertise and commitment of our judges as they tackled the very tough task of selecting the finalists."

"Even those entrants who didn’t make it through to the finals told me how much they valued the Awards programme as a celebration of the new, innovative, beautiful and inspiring 'stuff' that is being done nationwide," says Ms Tocker.

The 2014 NZ Museum Awards includes separate categories for larger and smaller exhibitions and other projects, and a new category for Innovative use of Te Reo Māori. The three Te Reo finalists all take a more integrated approach to using Māori language as part of their programme interpretation. This is in the aspirational spirit of the NZ Museum Awards, which seek to inspire museums and galleries, and their public and stakeholders, by recognising the very best recent projects.

The winners will be announced at the New Zealand Museum Awards celebration in Hawke's Bay on 3 April, part of Museums Aotearoa's MA14 conference, The Business of Culture. The awards programme is grateful for sponsorship from ServiceIQ, National Services Te Paerangi, Philips Selecon, Huia Publishing and Clearview Estate winery.


New Zealand Museum Awards 2014 Finalists in alphabetical order by category

Best Exhibition
over $20,000

Auckland War Memorial Museum
Moana - My Ocean

Canterbury Museum
RISE - Street Art

Christchurch Art Gallery
Burster Flipper Wobbler Dripper Spinner Stacker Shaker Maker

Best Exhibition
under $20,000

Dunedin Public Art Gallery
Sir Frank Brangwyn: Captain Winterbottom and the Billiard Room of Horton House

Tauranga Art Gallery
Corrugations: the art of Jeff Thomson

Te Awamutu Museum
Toi Ki Roto - Art inside from the Te Ao Marama Unit, Waikeria Prison

Best Museum

New Zealand Historic Places Trust
High Street Stories

Rotorua Museum
On the Wing - Urban Release of the New Zealand Falcon

Te Hikoi
Taonga Toki Project

Best Museum

Canterbury Museum
Quake City

MTG Hawke's Bay
MTG Hawke's Bay Redevelopment Project

Whakatane Museum
Te Kōputu a Te Whanga a Toi development

Most Innovative

Canterbury Museum
Red Zone Bus Tours

Museums Wellington
Great Strike 1913

New Zealand Historic Places Trust and New Zealand Film Archive
Reel Life in Rural New Zealand

Voyager NZ Maritime Museum
Auckland Tall Ships Festival

Most Innovative
use of Te Reo

Hastings City Art Gallery
Te Taniwha

MTG Hawke's Bay
Ūkaipō - ō tātou whakapapa, Taonga Māori exhibition

Voyager NZ Maritime Museum
Kōrero Tipua

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