• Finalists announced for Adam Portraiture Award 2022
  • 13 April 2022
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  • Sponsored by The Adam Foundation
  • Presented by The New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata

Glass, cotton rags, steel and linen are just some of the interesting materials used to create painted works shortlisted in the 2022 Adam Portraiture Award. The competition attracted an impressive 351 entries, of which 45 have been selected as finalists. Well known New Zealanders, including Mayor of Rotorua Stevie Chadwick, Dame Suzie Moncrieff DNZM, Peter Yealands, and Judy Darragh ONZM feature along with portraits of friends, family members, and several self-portraits.

The biennial award, generously sponsored by The Adam Foundation and presented by The New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata, is one of the country’s longest running art prizes which has a cash prize of $20,000 and national recognition and regularly tours the country.

Anyone can apply to enter this anonymously-selected biennial contest, as long as the artist is a New Zealand resident or citizen. All portraits must be painted only and subjects have to be a New Zealand resident or citizen.

The Adam Portraiture Award is known for launching careers. Previous winners include Sacha Lees in 2020, Logan Moffat in 2018, André Brönnimann in 2016, Henry Christian-Slane in 2014, Stephen Martyn Welch in 2012, Harriet Bright in 2010, Irene Ferguson in 2008 and Freeman White in 2006. Interestingly, 7 finalists from 2020 have made the shortlist for the 2022 awards, and three former winners Sacha Lees, Stephen Martyn Welch, Freeman White are finalists in this year’s award.

Entries have been received from throughout New Zealand as well as entries from Kiwi artists based in the United Kingdom, United States of America, and Australia. Six finalists are currently based overseas with their works making a special journey over to Aotearoa for the exhibition.

The winner of the competition and recipient of a $20,000 cash prize will be selected by the judges at the start of the public exhibition showcasing all finalists’ works at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery and. An additional prize of $2,500 will be awarded for the runner up alongside another $2,500 prize for the People’s Choice, awarded at the end of the Adam Portraiture Award exhibition.

Reflecting on the 2022 entries, judge Linda Tyler, Associate Professor and convenor of Museums and Cultural Heritage at the University of Auckland, commented “Compared to last year, there has been a huge upswing in the diversity of media represented in the entries. It is great to see some experimentation with the portrait format, and plenty of witty takes on the whole exercise of self-portraiture too.”

The winning submission will be announced on Wednesday 26 May 2022 and the exhibition will run at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakata in Shed 11 on Wellington’s waterfront from 27 May to 14 August 2022

A selection of finalist paintings will tour throughout the country in multiple venues across the North and South Island.

The full list of finalists can be found at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery or ONLINE