The submission deadline for the country's first Māori artist award of its kind with a $20,000 prize is only five weeks away.
New Māori artists have until March 5 to submit their entries for the inaugural Kiingi Tuheitia Portraiture Award, launched in August 2020 by the Office of the Kiingitanga and New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata.
Artists will be challenged to create artworks of their tūpuna (ancestors), using any visual medium.
Emerging Māori artists, with whakapapa connections to the depicted tūpuna, can submit either an artwork created in the past two years or an entirely new piece of work.
The competition's judging panel includes tohunga tā moko and kapa haka exponent Sir Derek Lardelli, celebrated artist, teacher and activist Kura Te Waru Rewiri and artist Lisa Reihana, known around the world for her digital art and portraits.
Reihana said the judges will be looking for a sense of heart and a strong tūpuna aspect to the works.
"I applaud the Kiingitanga for coming up with this award which is a serious proposition with a generous remuneration for emerging artists.
"Not only does it encourage Māori artists to look closely at their history and whakapapa but it creates a contemporary spin on our tradition of recording tūpuna."
The finalist artworks will be toured around the country.
"This award is not just for Māori but for New Zealanders, after a turbulent 2020, now more than ever we are looking at ourselves and realise the importance of generating our own projects from home."
The runner-up and recipient of the People's Choice Award will win $2500 each.
The inaugural award will be held in 2021 with the finalist artworks exhibited in Wellington at Te Whanganui-a-Tara at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata, timed to coincide with Matariki.
The winners will be announced at the exhibition opening on May 27, 2021.