Works from around the Whanganui region have poured into the Sarjeant on the Quay for the 2021 Pattillo Whanganui Arts Review.
Submission day for this year's awards was on Tuesday, February 23.
The open award, won last year by Tracy Byatt, offers a $6500 prize, an artist website, a professional development course and a solo artist showcase at the Sarjeant in 2022.
The judge this year is Reuben Friend, director of Porirua's Pātaka Art + Museum.
Friend said he was excited to be judging the review, and it was "a national award with a high profile that attracts high-quality artwork".
"This is great for artists and for the reputation of Whanganui as an arts centre," Friend said.
"There have been some seriously impressive judges over the years, and I'm privileged to have the honour of judging this year's award.
"Personally, I love witnessing art that shows a mastery of skill and media, and I'm looking forward to seeing this year's entries."
Gallery operations manager Teresa Toy said there were more first time entrants this year than she could remember.
"It's great to be able to welcome all these new people to the gallery and showcase all we have to offer," Toy said.
Sarjeant Gallery curator and public programmes manager Greg Donson said there were more than 180 submissions on Tuesday.
"There were even more people than that through the gallery, so it was a pretty busy day," Donson said.
"In terms of works, there was a great range, as always, and there seemed to be a lot of paintings this year.
"It's just a great community event, with lots of visitors bumping into each other and catching up in the one spot."
Donson said he liked to think the open submissions policy made the event as inclusive as possible.
"We always get a huge range, from people who have just started through to seasoned artists.
"It's a true reflection of what's going on in Whanganui."
The Whanganui Arts Review online hub can now be accessed via the Arts Review menu item on the Sarjeant website.
Sarjeant Gallery relationships officer Jaki Arthur said the hub would become an invaluable resource and the gallery wanted it "to become more and more useful for the artists of this region".
"I have seen many fabulous works coming in and feel really excited about the coming exhibition which opens on March 6," Arthur said.
More information on the 2021 Patillo Whanganui Arts Review can be found at pattillo.sarjeant.org.nz