The annual call for Kiwi creatives to flex their skills has arrived. The Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award is a renowned competition challenging artists from throughout New Zealand to transform the iconic agricultural product, No.8 wire, into inspiring art.
The prize pool is almost $10,000, and entries for the annual awards are now open.
Hosted by Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato and supported by the New Zealand National Fieldays Society, the event has seen incredible talent manipulate the infamously difficult product into stunning works for sale.
Approaching its 25th year, the award is now recognised as a celebration of true ingenuity. In 2022, the competition will be judged by carver, sculptor, and multi-disciplinary artist Eugene Kara.
With iwi affiliations to Ngāti Koroki Kahukura, Ngāti Pāhauwera, Ngāti Tīpā, Ngāti Kōata, Ngā Rauru, Te Ātihaunui-a-Pāpārangi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa, and Ngāti Kahungunu, Eugene has been a practising artist for 30 years.
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In his time at the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute (NZMACI) in Rotorua, Eugene has established Te Ahi Komau, New Zealand's first Māori foundry and bronze casting facility.
"It's an honour to have Eugene on board to select the finalists and eventual winners," says Liz Cotton, director of Museum and Arts, Waikato Museum. "His artworks are recognised and admired around the region, including the commanding tekoteko column beside the Cambridge exit of the Waikato Expressway."
New Zealand National Fieldays Society President James Allen says: "Over the years, we have been privileged to witness many artists work through these awards. We're proud to continue our support providing a platform for expression of creativity and the grassroots of agriculture in New Zealand, whilst also connecting a community of like-minded individuals."
A digital judging platform will be used to review photos and select the finalists. This platform also keeps the entrant identities confidential, enabling the judges to focus solely on the art. The winner will receive $7000, and prizes of $1000 and $500 for the second and third place respectively. Further prizes are also awarded for People's Choice and President's Choice.
The award culminates in a month-long exhibition at Hamilton's ArtsPost Galleries & Shop, opening this year on Friday, April 22.
Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award
● Entries close: 1pm, Monday, March 14
● Finalists notified: Week of March 21 March
● Winners announced/award ceremony: 5.30pm, Thursday, April 21
● Exhibition: Friday, April 22, to Monday, May 23
● Venue: ArtsPost, 120 Victoria St, Hamilton. Open daily 10am to 5pm.
● Criteria and entry form: www.waikatomuseum.co.nz/no8wire.