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1 September 2019

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Meet your Arts Foundation 2019 Laureates celebrated at NZ Arts Ball

The Arts Foundation Laureate Awards celebrate and empower artists with outstanding potential for future growth whose practice has an impact on New Zealand. Every year the Arts Foundation recognise ten exceptional artists with a $25,000 award. The 2019 Arts Foundation Laureates were celebrated in style last night, 31 August, at Shed 10 on the Auckland waterfront.

The Arts Foundation 2019 Laureate Award Recipients:

  • Ruth Paul – Arts Foundation Laureate receiving the Mallinson Rendel Illustrators Award
  • Louise Potiki Bryant – Arts Foundation Laureate receiving the award for choreography & dance
  • Kris Sowersby – Arts Foundation Laureate receiving the award for design & typography
  • Solomon Mortimer – Arts Foundation Laureate receiving the Marti Friedlander Photographic Award
  • val smith – Arts Foundation Laureate receiving the award for performing arts
  • Pietra Brettkelly – Arts Foundation Laureate receiving the Dame Gaylene Preston Award for Documentary Film Makers
  • Laurence Fearnley – Arts Foundation Laureate receiving the award for literature
  • Yvonne Todd – Arts Foundation Laureate receiving the Theresa Gattung Award for Female Arts Practitioners
  • Sima Urale – Arts Foundation Laureate receiving the Burr/Tatham Trust Award
  • Jessica Hansell aka Coco Solid – Arts Foundation Laureate receiving the award for mixed media

NZ Arts Ball unites and celebrates the arts community in New Zealand. This creative black-tie event was attended by a sold-out crowd of over 420 well-known arts patrons, business people and artists. NZ Arts Ball acknowledged ten outstanding New Zealand artists with our 2019 Laureate awards, and was an opportunity to fundraise for our new Springboard award, a programme which aims to bolster the career of talented young artists with financial support and mentoring.

Madeleine Sami brought her signature humour and style to the event as MC and guests enjoyed Champagne Bollinger upon arrival, a delectable 3 course dinner provided by The Collective which was perfectly matched by Craggy Range wines. Guests swapped their heels for sneakers and took to the dance floor for funky beats from a DJ Julien Dyne til the early hours. Guests included Robyn Malcolm, Lisa Chappell, Jennifer Ward-Leyland, David Kirk, Kent Gardiner, Fiona Pardington, Ans Westra, Theresa Gattung, Josh Emett, Peter Robinson, Caroline Hutchison, and many more.

The evening incorporated the incredible talent of our laureate recipients by allowing guests to be immersed in their work during the evening. Performance artist val smith lead the way with a performance piece that involved a queer cleansing of the site and included an element of interaction with guests as they enjoyed canapés, Champagne Bollinger and Sawmill Brewery craft beers. This artist immersion continued with a visceral reading from author Laurence Fearnley, an emotive dance performance which included video art from Louise Potiki Bryant, projected displays of striking imagery from illustrator Ruth Paul and photographers Yvonne Todd and Solomon Mortimer, film contributions from Sima Urale and Pietra Brettkelly, and finally, Jessica Hansell (aka Coco Solid) kicked of the dance floor with her incredible mixed media and display of poppin’ musicianship with the song ‘Crop that Back’.

NZ Arts Ball kicks off Aotearoa’s first ever Arts Month, 30 days dedicated to celebrating, acknowledging and exploring the arts in our communities. During September, we want Aotearoa to show us what 'art is' to them. Happening all September, Arts Month is a month-long conversation about what art is, uncovering what creativity means to New Zealanders, and exploring the value the arts bring to our society.

The Arts Foundation, with the help of Creative NZ, Chartwell Trust, NZME, NZ Post, BJ Ball, Spectrum Print, Augusto, Phantom Billstickers and Go Media, are going live and wide throughout Aotearoa New Zealand to create open and safe spaces to share what art is to Aotearoa. It's time to give the arts some much needed oxygen to help grow their understanding and support.

We invite you and your community to the kōrero. Let's shine the spotlight on arts and creativity in our communities and map out Aotearoa's own definitions of art. Head to www.artsmonth.co.nz and get creative with the pencil, paintbrush, text, image, or spray-paint icons, then hit "post" to share your definition with the nation. #ArtsMonthNZ

It's time for the arts to be more visible on the national agenda. Chair of the Arts Foundation, Garth Gallaway explains: "Art is so often seen as a nice to have. But we have observed a widespread movement valuing the arts, and research is now emerging showing that arts and creativity have the power to drive change, whether it's wellbeing, diversity, inclusion, or strengthening our cultural identity."

As New Zealand's dedicated arts philanthropic organisation, the Arts Foundation seeks to back artists to make their mark, help them connect with a more diverse group of arts supporters, and broaden the reach of the arts throughout Aotearoa. Arts Month acts as a dedicated month each year to put a spotlight on the arts and creativity happening in our communities nationwide and celebrate their value to the fabric of Aotearoa.

Arts Month and Springboard, as new initiatives, build on the Arts Foundation's existing Icon and Laureate award programmes and aim to show artist impact on Aotearoa and grow the impact of the Foundation, which has distributed over $10 million to honour New Zealand's finest creatives over the past 20 years. NZ Arts Ball was the major fundraising initiative for 2019 to Springboard future young artistic talent. This was a major success with the event collectively raising just under $225,000 on the night through the auction of 5 major artworks donated by five great collectors, a Zambesi raffle celebrating 40 years of design and 8 incredible experience packages taking guests around the globe.

This just under $225,000 will help young artists showing outstanding potential kick-start their career in the arts, with a year of funding and mentor support from the Arts Foundation. We’ll ask arts organisations to nominate the freshest and brightest talent in the land to be supported for a year. They’ll receive a funding lift to their career – whether it pays for studio rent, their salary, travel or research. As well as funding support, we’ll match each Springboard recipient with an artistic mentor and the guidance of an Arts Foundation Kotahi donor for a year. The mentor will be paid for their care and attention over the year, and the Arts Foundation team will facilitate and document these important partnerships. Each package is worth $25,000 and the nomination process kicks off in November. The money raised on the night will help springboard young talent into a serious career in the arts – enabling them to make more ambitious work.

NZ Arts Ball was made possible with the help of some wonderful partnerships with Augusto, Batch, McCarthy, Blink Boys, Lux Productions, PSP, Sharpie, BJ Ball, Spectrum Print, Brown Bread, NZME, Art+Object, Singapore Airlines, Zambesi, Creative NZ and the Chartwell Trust. Guests were well libated by Craggy Range wines, Champagne Bollinger, Sawmill Brewery, Antipodes, East Imperial, Lyre’s and The Collection.




Arts Month:
Arts Foundation:
NZ Arts Ball:

Contact Rachel Dewhurst for more information:

Laureate interviews are available
Media access to print Q & A written pieces from each of our 10 Laureates Access to Laureate, NZ Arts Ball and Arts Month imagery

Please contact
Rachel Dewhurst, Marketing & Communications Manager Brown Bread Ltd.
021 771 009

About the Arts Foundation

Backing artists to make their mark. The Arts Foundation was established in 1998 to honour extraordinary New Zealand artists.