Funding urged as awards revived

By Hannah Norton

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It's been more than a decade since the last Northland Art Awards, but thanks to two dedicated Whangarei women, they have been revived this year.

Northland Society of Arts (NSA) council member Kim Kerr and secretary Elizabeth Fuge have been the driving force in reinstating the competition.

"We've been talking about it for a while. If you put a date on something, you've got to do it," Mrs Kerr said.

"It's taken two years to try and get this under way."

The awards came to an abrupt halt in 2002 due to lack of funding and support, she said.

"Money has been the issue the whole time," Mrs Kerr said.

Mrs Fuge said in the past, the Northland Society of Arts ran the Telecom Art Awards, alternating each year between pottery and art.

"A lot of the places that used to sponsor us have shut down and many of the companies have disappeared," said Mrs Fuge.

The purpose of the awards is to educate and promote Northland art and artists and this year's competition is open to all artists living in Northland, who are working in painting, drawing or mixed-media.

"The theme is open so as many people as possible can be involved," said Mrs Kerr.

"We are grateful for the support of our members and the business community who have made it possible for us to mount the awards again," she said.

"We've had a few local firms help in the way of photocopying and small prizes."

The competition has four prizes: the Overall and NSA Acquisition prize of $1,000 and three prizes each of $400 in goods and services for painting, drawing and mixed-media sections.

The pair are aiming to stage the competition once every two years again and also to reinstate the pottery competition, and are appealing for any corporate sponsors to help them out.

Entry forms can be obtained from Reyburn House Art Gallery and are due with the work by February 1. The Award presentations will be held on February 9. All artworks will be for sale and on display in Reyburn House Art Gallery, Whangarei Town Basin February 10-28.

- Northern Advocate

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