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Adam Portrait Award Recognises Parliament's 150th

Parliament's 150th anniversary recognised by Adam Portrait Award 2004 - call for entries

The Speaker of the House, Rt Hon Jonathan Hunt is to be the subject of a painted portrait commission which is part of the prize package for the New Zealand Portrait Gallery's Adam Biennial Portrait Competition 2004. The New Zealand Portrait Gallery, which is based in Wellington, supported by the Adam Foundation is now calling for entries to the competition.

Next year is the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the New Zealand Parliament and the Portrait Gallery's management committee thought the Speaker, Rt Hon Jonathan Hunt, who is known as the "father of the house" was the obvious subject for a portrait.

The Adam Foundation's Denis and Verna Adam are again supporting the competition which attracted 185 entries in 2002. With Denis Adam's backing former National Party MP Hugh Templeton, chairperson of the Portrait Gallery's management committee, approached the Speaker earlier this year to persuade him to participate.

"The Speaker has always shown great interest in the arts and has supported the Gallery in many ways. Given the established role of portrait galleries world-wide - putting a face on each country's character, culture and heritage through a mixture of art and history - to have a portrait of the incumbent Speaker in recognition of Parliament's anniversary is most appropriate," Denis Adam said.

Selected painted portraits entered in the Adam Biennial Portrait Competition will be exhibited in the New Zealand Portrait Gallery from 26 February to 16 April 2004 during the New Zealand International Arts Festival.

The winner of the award receives a prize package of $10,000, including a $5,000 cash prize and a commission worth $5,000 to paint a portrait of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The 2002 winner was Marianne Muggeridge and her commission was to paint Dr Alan MacDiarmid, New Zealand chemist and winner of the Nobel Prize in 2000.

The gala opening and prize giving for the Adam Biennial Portrait Award will be held at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery on 26 February 2004. The exhibition opens to the public the following day and will run for two months, and then may tour.

Entries for the painted portrait competition are open to New Zealand painters and close on Friday 16 January 2004. All enquiries should be directed to the New Zealand Portrait Gallery, PO Box 17-096, Wellington, or email wrw@nzportgal.org.nz

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