Four Northland artists are among the 76 short-listed contenders for this year's $25,000 Parkin Drawing Prize.

Whittled down from 482 entries, they will be displayed at the NZ Academy of Fine Arts in Wellington over August 4-30, with the winner to be chosen and announced by Charlotte Davy, head of art at Te Papa Tongarewa, on August 3.

Kerikeri artist Jacqueline Aust and Maree Wilson, Cathy Tuato'o Ross and Heather Hunt, all from Whangārei are in the running for the prize.

The short-listed artists were clearly free to exercise their imaginations, making use of materials ranging from recycled pantyhose and korari sticks to bed sheets.

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All the short-listed works will be for sale, giving admirers the opportunity to buy works that are unlikely to be seen again, given that many of the finalists are not represented in any gallery.

The national drawing competition was launched by philanthropist and arts patron Chris Parkin eight years ago. Ten highly commended prizes of $500 will also be awarded.

An advisory panel, comprising leading contemporary Māori artist, writer and curator Professor Robert Jahnke ONZM, Dr Sarah Farrar, head of curatorial and exhibitions at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, and arts commentator/writer Dr Andrew Paul Wood, spent hours assessing the hundreds of entries before coming up with the short-list.

"It will be interesting to see what works and themes come through for this exhibition, especially after we have experienced such a turbulent year," Parkin said.

"I'm pleased with my timing to increase the prize money to $25,000 because it's been a difficult year for many people, especially artists impacted by Covid-19. I encourage the public to get out and enjoy the exhibition and put their money where their month is by supporting local and buying the art."

Short-listed works range from small (30mm x 30mm) to the very large (2530mm x 2460mm). Entries were received from Kerikeri to Invercargill, and one from a New Zealand artist living in Melbourne.