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Winners of the Waikato River Art Awards to Be Announced

June 9, 2014

Winners of the Waikato River Art Awards to Be Announced

Winners of an inaugural arts competition aimed at positively promoting the Waikato River and its importance to both iwi and community, will be announced at a special awards ceremony on June 11.

Sponsored by Waikato-Tainui and McCaw Lewis, 24 finalists have been selected for the Waikato River Art Awards 2014 and will vie for a series of awards including the Waikato-Tainui Award, Youth Award and the Overall Award.

The competitions theme - Tooku Awa Koiora: The River of Life, Each Curve More Beautiful than the Last - is derived from a maimai aroha (lament) shared by Taawhiao, the second Maaori King and also forms part of the vision and strategy to restore and protect the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River.

Artists were encouraged to produce art work that conceptualises the beauty of the river, either as it is now or as it could be in the future.

“We are very pleased to partner with McCaw Lewis to support this arts initiative,” said Taipu Paki, Implementation Manager at the Waikato Raupatu River Trust. “This is a fantastic opportunity to focus on the Waikato River through the imagination and aspirations of our artistic communities.”

Tauranga-based artist James Ormsby, who along with renowned carver Fred Graham and arts advocate Barbara Moke selected the winners, said he was humbled to be part of the judging panel and appreciated the diversity of the entries.

“The messages in the work are challenging, confronting and honest. It was as if we were experiencing an ordering of our imaginative order. To see that process coming through the work that was submitted is very encouraging.”

A total prize package worth over $5,000 will be distributed to the winners and includes a hoe nukenuke by Waikato carver Warren McGrath. An exhibition of all the selected works submitted will be on display at Te Awa and will give the public a chance to view the winners as well as select a winner for the People’s Choice Award.

The exhibition will be held in the Atrium at the northern end of Te Awa (The Base) from 11 to 25
June 2014. It is free and open to the public. For more information visit or or like our Facebook page


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