Auckland entries dominate the semi-finalist line-up for the 2012 National Contemporary Art Award.
Of the 19 selected works chasing the $15,000 first prize, 15 are from Auckland with the remainder from Melbourne, Christchurch, Nelson and Dunedin.
The award, now in its 11th year, attracted 230 entries from emerging and established artists. Despite the large number of entries, Judge Caterina Riva followed a qualitative judging process to choose 19 semi-finalists she believes are worthy of being considered for the top prize.
In addition to the winning entry there are three merit awards.
Caterina Riva says the 19 selected proposals clearly stood out from the rest of the material for the clarity of their intention and presentation.
"The selection I have made sees artists that either seem to master an artistic medium (painting, sculpture, photography, video) as well as its effects, or propose a way of looking laterally at fields of cultural production, combining interests which encompass different disciplines and recognise the complexity of the world we live in," she says.
The National Contemporary Art Award is sponsored by local art philanthropist, Barry Hopkins and hosted by Waikato Museum.
The award brings together the work of some of New Zealand's most exciting artists and has earned its place as an essential event on the New Zealand arts calendar.
The winners will be announced on August 16 before the exhibition opens to the public from August 17 until November 18.