Sir James Wallace established the Annual Art Awards in 1992 with the aim to foster, honour, and support the practices of visual artists. The Wallace Art Awards are now the longest surviving and largest annual art awards in New Zealand.
The Wallace Art Awards are also the most democratic of Awards. The only restriction for entry is that the applicant must have New Zealand Citizenship or New Zealand Permanent Residency, which effectively opens them up to the entire resident population, as well as New Zealanders who live internationally. Entries each year reflect this, with committed amateur artists entering alongside recognised professionals.
During 28 previous iterations, the Awards have expanded to include six major international artist residencies based in prestigious institutions across the United States and Europe.
This year, due to the COVID-19 situation, the Annual Wallace Art Awards has suspended its residential placements as prizes and is instead offering cash Awards to the total value of $132,000.
This exhibition showcases the works that won the ten prizes on offer, along with a selection of outstanding works by finalists that make up the travelling show.