The Arts Foundation’s highest honour, the Icon Awards, Whakamana Hiranga, are bestowed to a living circle of twenty of New Zealand’s most significant artists for their extraordinary lifetime achievements and mark on the arts.
Established in 2003, Icon Awards are limited to a living circle of 20 artists. Each Icon receives a bronze medallion set with pounamu and a pin designed by sculptor John Edgar.
2022 marks the first year we have awarded Icons since the passing of Sir Eion Edgar, a long time champion of Whakamana Hiranga. Sir Eion and Jan, Lady Edgar are the Founding Patrons of the Icon Awards, following Sir Eion’s retirement as a Trustee of the Foundation in 2010 and their extraordinary $500,000 gift to the Arts Foundation.