Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History in Masterton announces its 11th Wairarapa Art Review, a selected exhibition held every two years since 1999 and open to all artists living in the Wairarapa. The selector is Karl Chitham (Ngā Puhi) who has been involved in the arts in New Zealand for over 15 years. Director of Museums for Hutt City Council, which includes the Dowse Art Museum, he has recently served as a judge for the 2019 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards and was on the selection panel for New Zealand’s participation in the Venice Biennale for 2021.
“Aratoi welcomes Karl Chitham as the selector and we look forward to his insight,” said Aratoi Director Susanna Shadbolt. “We consider the Wairarapa Art Review as the finest selection of local art, and we always schedule the exhibition during the summer, our busiest period, to showcase it to a large audience. We are also excited to announce that we are offering seven awards – with three new sponsors coming on board: ConArt Gallery and Studios, Pete Nikolaison Photographer and Framers and The Estate of Jan Eagle.”
Rosewood Premier Award ($2000): For the second time, Rosewood Funeral Home are sponsoring the Premier Award of the Wairarapa Art Review. Lynette and David Dew are both very community-minded people and excited to be back on board for the Review, supporting local artists.
The Whole Nine Yards Highly Commended Award ($1000) “The Whole Nine Yards are excited to be sponsoring the Highly Commended Award once again. We are fortunate to have much talent in our region, and as Interior consultants, we feel that we are privileged to be travelling on the same plane as the artists. Colour, texture and shape…. things that inspire us all. Good luck to all the contenders.” – Julie Tulloch
2019 Jan Eagle Memorial Award ($1000) “Jan Eagle was a much respected and talented Wairarapa artist with huge mana, who sadly passed away last year (2018). It was her wish that this prize in her name be set up for the Wairarapa Art Review to celebrate her passion for colour and her belief in supporting local artists. Special thanks to her family for their generosity in making this happen.” – Gwenda Saunders
Jane Hyder Portrait Award ($500) “I was inspired to give an award to Aratoi because my husband and I enjoy visiting Aratoi, and as an exhibiting artist with a studio at The Wellington City Council artspace Toi Poneke Art Centre, I believe in the arts and am lucky enough to be able to give something back to the arts. The reason I gift a portrait prize is I have been on the Friends Committee of The New Zealand Portrait Gallery and also a sponsor of the Gallery.” – Jane Hyder
Pete Nikolaison Photographer and Framer Photography Award ($500): Pete and his late father George (Ted) Nikolaison have been capturing the history of Masterton on film for over 6 decades. Photography is very strong in the Wairarapa with the Camera Club and its members regularly exhibiting at Aratoi. Pete is proud to be sponsoring the Photography Award for the first time.
ConArt Gallery & Studios Emerging Artist Award (Residency package of $500 value): “ConArt is excited to sponsor the Emerging Artist Award and support our neighbour, Aratoi. One of ConArt's purposes is to support and promote Wairarapa artists, so sponsoring this award seems a natural fit, and gives the winner an opportunity to work in a ConArt studio. The Review offers visitors a taste of the excellent quality of art being produced in the Wairarapa region today - something we are all very proud of. – Jane Sinclair
The Frank Minehan People's Choice Award ($500) “Aratoi is like a family for me. Being able to sponsor the People’s Choice award gives me an opportunity to give back to Aratoi in thanks for all I get out of going there and I want to acknowledge the creativity of our wonderful local artists one and all.” – Frank Minehan
“We are hoping for 100 entries this year,” said Sandra Debney, Chair of Friends of Aratoi. “In 2017, there were 86 submissions.” Friends of Aratoi, a membership organisation that supports the Museum, plays a central role in the Wairarapa Art Review: securing sponsors, liaising with artists, and assisting behind the scenes.
The exhibition continues until 16 February 2020, when votes will be counted for the People’s Choice Award: the winner will be announced at a closing event.
ARATOI, 12 Bruce Street, Masterton, open daily 10am – 4:00pm, entry by donation, Tel 06 370 0001