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Who will be the next Arts Foundation Icon?

Who will be the next Arts Foundation Icon? Have your say


The Arts Foundation have opened up nominations to the public, for the prestigious Arts Foundation Icon Awards. Launched in 2003, the Icon Awards – Whakamana Hirangi, are New Zealand’s most prestigious artistic honour. They are limited to a living circle of 20 artists. Following the passing of Barbara Anderson, Ralph Hotere and Sir Ian Athfield, the living circle currently totals 17.

Arts Foundation Icons are New Zealand artists whose work represents a legacy to, and a mark on, our culture. The award recognises a significant impact on their chosen art form. They remain influential and inspirational, and continue to be admired for their work. Selected during their lifetime, they are world class.

Opera Pioneer, Donald Munro, received his Icon Award in 2005, and passed away shortly after his 99th birthday in 2012. He described receiving his Icon Award as the greatest thing to have happened in his life. “For me, it is the greatest honour. I received a MBE in 1951, but this Icon Award was awarded to me by my peers, and that says a lot”.

Donald Munro’s medallion, designed by stone sculptor, John Edgar, was later awarded to Visual Artist, Heritage Advocate and Teacher, Dr Cliff Whiting in 2013. At the same ceremony at Government House, in 2013, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Jacqueline Fahey, Geoff Murphy and Sir Ian Athfield were also named Arts Foundation Icon’s.

Sir Ian Athfield, who recently passed away on the 16th of January this year, held a medallion previously received by the late, Margaret Mahy. Arts Foundation Executive Director, Simon Bowden says “The history and mana associated with each Icon medallion grows with time. Receiving the Award is often an emotional experience for artists. In time, Ath’s medallion will go to another extraordinary individual, who will no doubt be honoured to have shared the medallion with two of New Zealand’s most prolific artists”.

The Arts Foundation appointed Sir Eion and Jan, Lady Edgar as Patrons of the Icon Awards after Sir Eion's retirement as a Trustee in 2010 and following their remarkable $500,000 donation to the Foundation.

Sir Eion has long been a champion of the Icon Awards and says "too often our most celebrated artists have gone without recognition. The Icon Awards offer New Zealanders the opportunity to congratulate our most accomplished artists on their achievements and to celebrate their work with them."

All members of the public are invited to submit their nominations to the Arts Foundation’s website starting today and ending on Friday the 13th of February. Each person may nominate one artist, and will be asked to supply a brief statement explaining their nomination. Nominations and statements will be supplied to the committee, and will remain anonymous. The selection committee will meet on Monday the 16th of February with the 2015 Icon Awards ceremony scheduled for later in the year, on a date to be confirmed.

Icon Awards are non-financial, and do not come with a monetary component. Nominations for financial awards, Laureate and New Generation Awards are only accepted from current Arts Foundation Patrons. Full information is available on the Arts Foundation’s website.

The Arts Foundation has been privileged to have honoured these artists as Icons;

Sir Ian Athfield (1940 – 2015) ARCHITECT
Barbara Anderson (1926 – 2013) WRITER
Ralph Hotere (1931 – 2013) VISUAL ARTIST
Margaret Mahy (1936 – 2012) WRITER
Donald Munro (1913-2012) OPERA PIONEER
Arnold Manaaki Wilson (1928-2012) SCULPTOR
Dr Pakariki Harrison (1928-2008) CARVER
Alexander Grant (1925 – 2011) BALLET
Len Castle (1924-2011) POTTER
Don Peebles (1922-2010) PAINTER
Diggeress Te Kanawa (1920-2009) WEAVER
Hone Tuwhare (1922-2008) POET
Don Selwyn (1935-2007) ACTOR/DIRECTOR
Janet Frame (1924-2004) WRITER

Raymond Boyce THEATRE DESIGN
Jacqueline Fahey VISUAL ARTIST
Marti Friedlander PHOTOGRAPHER
Maurice Gee WRITER
Peter Godfrey MUSICIAN
Patricia Grace WRITER
Sir Peter Jackson FILMMAKER
Russell Kerr CHOREOGRAPHER
Sir Donald McIntyre OPERA SINGER
Milan Mrkusich VISUAL ARTIST
Geoff Murphy FILM MAKER
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa OPERA SINGER
Greer Twiss SCULPTOR
Sir Miles Warren ARCHITECT
Dame Gillian Weir CONCERT ORGANIST
Ans Westra PHOTOGRAPHER
Dr Cliff Whiting VISUAL ARTIST


ends

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