A prize pool of $14,000 is up for grabs with the return of Rotorua Museum Art Awards.

The biennial awards were reinstated in 2013 after a 10-year absence and aimed to inspire local artists and highlight the wealth of talent in the Bay of Plenty region.

Rotorua Museum operations manager Cat Jehly said the team were excited to see the entries this year as the quality of artworks had increased each time.

"With the museum closed for earthquake strengthening and redevelopment we have worked hard to secure a venue for this year's awards," Jehly said.

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"We are delighted to announce that the exhibition of finalists will be held at the Energy Events Centre, Rotorua, opening on October 23."

Rotorua Museum Art Awards 2017 Supreme Award winner Kereama Taepa with his piece Bicultural Dialogue I. Photo / Supplied
Rotorua Museum Art Awards 2017 Supreme Award winner Kereama Taepa with his piece Bicultural Dialogue I. Photo / Supplied

She said this year offered the largest prize pool of any of the art awards with a new youth award added to the line-up.

Friends of Rotorua Museum, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Lockwood and More FM have all sponsored prizes this year.

Entries close September 30 and entry details along with the entry form are available on Rotorua Museum's website.

Artists will need to deliver completed works by October 7 and the winners will be announced at a gala awards evening on October 22.

An exhibition of approximately 50 finalist entries will be open to the public at the Energy Events Centre from October 23 to November 10.

A Salon des Refusé for works not selected for the finalist exhibition will open at the Pop Up Shop on Eruera St from November 2 to 17.

Rotorua Lakes Council arts and culture manager Stewart Brown said it was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the region's incredible artistic talent and for artists to profile their work.

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"The art awards are a great way to engage with the local arts community.

"We had fantastic feedback from all involved last time and can't wait to see what our talented region produces this year."

Local artists who have won previous year's supreme awards are Kereama Taepa in 2017, Mandy Hague in 2015 and Kylie Tiuka in 2013.

Sarah Ziessen, who won the Friends of Rotorua Museum Emerging Artist Award in 2013, has gone on to win the National Contemporary Art Award in 2018 with her innovative artwork You and Me, The Weight of History.

This year the entries can go in the draw to win Rotorua Museum Supreme Award prize of $10,000, the Friends of Rotorua Museum Emerging Artist Award prize of $1000, the Toi Ohomai Innovation in Art Award prize of $1000, two More FM People's Choice Awards of $500 each and the new Lockwood Youth Award prize of $1000 totalling $14,000 worth of prizes.

Conditions for entry include

- Artists must be resident or work in the Bay of Plenty

- The work can be any medium, including digital/moving image

The work must

- Be a one-off original and not part of an edition

- Not infringe upon NZ copyright laws

- Be the sole work of the artist entering (unless it is listed as a collaboration)

- Have been created within the 24 months prior to and including the entry close date

- Never have been exhibited previously